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Craig Porter 18th Dec 2008 - 13:56

Magic Johnson slam-dunks the Proteas

An astonishing spell from Mitchell Johnson puts Australia back in control of the 1st Test at the end of day two in Perth.

The pacy left-hander took an astonishing five wickets for just two runs in 21 balls in the last session of the day.

The South Africans were cruising with AB de Villiers and Jacques Kallis firmly in control and scoring freely at 234 for 3. It looked like they would be spending day three racking up an imposing total, easliy passing the target of 375 that the Australians had been fortunate to get. The draw was priced at 10/11 with both sides around the 2/1 mark.

Just forty minutes later and Graeme Smith's batting line-up were in tatters at 243 for 8, trailing the Aussies by 132 runs.

The 8/1 price on South Africa to win this Test match still represents value. That last session was freakish to say the least and, whilst we know that Johnson can take wickets, there are few bowlers that can bowl at his pace as effectively as he did after the tea interval.

If the Proteas' tail can wag like Australia's did, and stick on another 70-odd runs for the last two wickets then it's game on - their bowlers certainly won't want to let the Aussies off like they did in the first innings, having had them in a very sticky position.

Australia are 1/4, with the draw 9/2, suggesting the result is a foregone conclusion but watch this space - this game has plenty of life in it yet.

It's a late night (and early morning) feast of Test cricket tonight as this game continues at 02:30. Before that, at 23:00, New Zealand v West Indies begins.

For you real night owls, or early birds depending on how you look at it, England start the second Test in India and are out for revenge after the hosts snatched the first Test from under their noses.

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