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Nic Ladds 23rd Dec 2008 - 23:22

Dark times for Ponting

The world's number one cricket team Australia lost another cricket match, this time by a dismal six wickets to a dominant South African side who had a total of 414 to chase, and chase they did.

Captain Graeme Smith managed 108 for the tourists before being dismissed by Mitchell Johnson, which when added to Man-of-the-match, AB de Villiers score of 106 not out - helped complete what was the second-highest fourth-innings victory total in the history of Test cricket.

Australians Matthew Hayden, Captain Ponting and Michael Hussy set surprisingly low scores in their first innings with Simon Katich the only batsman from the first four scoring over a mere 12 runs. Katiach was in fact the Australian's top batsman in their first innings with a contribution of 83 and is priced at 4/1 to do the same in the Boxing Day test.

The Australian attack led by Brett Lee were poor, with only Mitchell Johnson having any effect. The left-arm fast bowler took eight of the first innings South African's wickets and is a must-include name for the remainder of the series, Australia struggling from elsewhere.

The South Africans made the fifth day look like easy cricket and weather this was a one-off fluke, or the start of a new South African era, the hats must come off to Smith's men. Favourite in the betting for top South African batsman is captain Smith at 3/1 - followed by Kallis and Amla, 7/2 each to achieve top figures.

Looking toward the second encounter which begins late on Christmas day for Brit fans, the Australians are priced 13/10  favourites for the 2nd test which in all likelihood, they will win but are going to have to up their game or England may really begin to fancy their chances for the ever-nearing Ashes.

Following the test at the WACA, the South Africans have been priced at 15/8 which must be tempting for those who witnessed them cruise to an easy victory, but with history and the strength and those looking for the safer return... Australia have to be favourites.

The form of Hayden and bowler Brett Lee is coming under scrutiny - Hayden 4/1 in the Top Batsman betting for the next test, only put together a total of twelve and four in Australia's innings - Lee, 66/1 for top bat managed poor bowling figures of one for 132.

Australia v South Africa - 2nd Test markets

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