Ozzie cricketers slump to lowest score in 109 years

Cricket historians were dusting down their record books on Thursday as a quite incredible day of Test cricket saw Australia bowled out for just 47 in Cape Town.

It could have been even worse for Australia, who were at one stage 21-9 and threatening to post the lowest total in the history of Test cricket.

As it was, their eventual total was the fourth lowest made by an Australian team in Test history, and the lowest since 1902.

Earlier in the second day of the first Test at Newlands, the Australians were celebrating as they bowled hosts South Africa out for 96, but they were soon left humiliated.

Vernon Philander took five wickets on his debut for the hosts, while Australia’s top scorer was Nathan Lyon with 14.

The upshot of all the drama was that hosts South Africa were left chasing 236 to win.

The drama will certainly be seen as a fillip for Test cricket, which some pundits see as being under threat from the more commercially successful Twenty20.
However, it seems pertinent to point out the folly of these two great cricketing nations playing only two Tests in this series.

On a bewildering day, Australia actually began still batting in their first innings, moving on from their overnight 214-8 to make 281 in the Cape Town sunshine.

Michael Clarke was unbeaten on 107 overnight, and a few impressive blows took him to 151. With the benefit of hindsight, that looks like a truly marvellous innings from the Australian captain.

South Africa made a terrible hash of their first innings, collapsing from 49-1 to 96 all out. Shane Watson helped himself to five wickets, with Ryan Harris claiming four.

That proved to be only the calm before the real storm of the second day.

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