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Monday, July 20, 2009

Australia vs South Africa 3rd Test 2009: Preview and Live Score

(This entry was originally published on Friday, January 2nd, 2009)

With the hope of avoiding a seemingly ‘white-wash’ at the hands of visiting South Africa, Australia is going to take on the visitors in the third and the final match of the three-match test series from January 3, 2009, at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Losing the first two tests, host Australia has already lost the test series, a rare experience for the Aussies.

Match: Australia vs South Africa, Third Test, South Africa’s Tour to Australia 2008-09

Date: 3 January 2009, Saturday

Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney, Australia

Kick off: 10:30 local time (23:30 GMT)

Graeme Smith-led South Africa was overly tipped to take a stern test of Australia before the series went underway, and South Africa did so pretty successfully wining the first two matches, while Australia failed to stave off the challenge thrown by South Africa. Now, the best Australia can do in the series is to finished it 2-1 in what would ensure them the top spot in ICC test ranking at least for a while. That is what, Australian captain Ricky Ponting is hoping to do in the final test match of the series.

Cricinfo reported:

At a team meeting before training on Friday the Australians outlined their goals for the year and focussed on a fresh start. “The culture that a lot of us grew up in was a very strong winning one and that’s what hopefully we’ve got to do for the younger guys coming into the side right now,” Ponting said. “I think it’s important that we move on from the last couple of weeks as quick as we can.”

Well, only time will say if Ponting and his boys will be bale to move on from this situation pretty easily, but for now, I have to say that Australia is under pressure ahead of the third match starting at SCG from tomorrow. Winning the first two matches, on the other hand, South Africa has already boost-up their confidence and is looking to sweep the series, winning the Sydney test too. A victory at Sydney would take South Africa at the top of ICC test ranking, replacing Australia. This is perhaps the biggest motivation for both sides ahead of the match. Australia will be dying for keeping some pride intact, avoiding a defeat in the final match, while South Africa will not leave any stone unturned to win at Sydney.

Australia will miss the services of a number of key players including pacers: Brett Lee, Stuart Clark, and all rounders: Andrew Symonds and Shane Watson for the final test of the series due to their injuries. So, Australia is going to feature two debutants in this test. Victorian all-rounder Doug Bollinger got a surprise call up when Symonds and Watson were ruled out for the match with injury problems, while left-arm pacer Doug Bollinger will play his debut test at his home ground SCG. Bollinger toured West Indies and India with Australian team but could not play any match. So, after many years, Australia is going to feature two left-arm pacers in the first eleven as Bollinger will join Mitchell Johnson. Off spinner Nathan Hauritz was impressive in the first innings of the second test and Australia will look for another special performance from him.

South Africa captain Graeme Smith is also a little bit worried about the two new men in Australian squad as the visitors do not have enough information about them. However, still South Africa is confident and wants to kick off the New Year with a strong performance against the reigning no. 1 of test ranking Australia.

Online Live Score and Updates
Here, I am giving some names of live score and update websites from where you can get the live score and updates of the match:

Cricinfo
Cricketnext
Cricket.sulekha
stickcricket
cricpoint
indvsauslivescore
cricbuzz
squidoo
Sify cricketworld

Australia is now under pressure as they are facing their first ever white-wash at home. However, South Africa can not afford to take the home side lightly as the Aussies could make a strong come back in the third match. I think, this will be a highly competitive affair and fans of both sides will enjoy the first test match of 2009.

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