Australia's Johnson rattles South Africans

Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson took three wickets in his first over and forced South African captain Graeme Smith and key batsman Jacques Kallis to retire hurt on a dramatic second day of the second Test at Kingsmead here on Saturday.

South Africa were 62 for four at tea in reply to Australia’s first innings total of 352.

Johnson took two wickets in his first over, then struck Smith with the third ball of his next over to throw the South African innings into disarray after the hosts had fought back earlier in the day, taking the last six Australian wickets for 49 runs, including the last five for four runs in 18 balls.

Smith had a fracture at the base of the little finger on his right hand, an injury likely to keep him out of action for two or three weeks, almost certainly ruling him out of the third and final Test, while making his further participation in the current game doubtful.

Kallis made 22 in a 50-run partnership with JP Duminy (28 not out) when Johnson, in the first over of his second spell, struck him on the jaw with a lifting delivery. He was led off the field bleeding.

His replacement, Mark Boucher, was bowled by Johnson off the last ball before tea.

Wickets tumbled on Saturday after rain delayed the start of play by half an hour.

Australia collapsed from their overnight 303 for four to put South Africa right back into the match; but then it was their turn to collapse with their first two wickets falling for no runs in the first five balls.

The left-armed Johnson had Neil McKenzie caught behind then trapped Hashim Amla leg before, with Amla making an unsuccessful referral to the television umpire.

After Smith’s injury, AB de Villiers made only three before he was leg before to Ben Hilfenhaus; South Africa crashed to six for three.—AFP

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