Aussie plan to dismantle Proteas comes unstuck
THE Protea Files yesterday became the X-files as Australia's much-talked about plan on how to dismantle the South Africans' much-vaunted batting line-up came unstuck on day one of the first Test at the Gabba.
Australian skipper Michael Clarke played down the leaking of a dossier on plans detailing how to dismiss Jacques Kallis and get inside the head of batting superstar Hashim Amla with some extreme sledging.
But whatever the plan was it did not work, as Amla and Kallis piled on the runs on a sultry day at the Gabba with South Africa 2-255 when stumps were drawn.
The pair added 136 with Amla on 90 and Kallis unbeaten on 84 when play was called off because of bad light with eight overs still to be bowled.
Australia could point to a couple of missed chances - both off the bowling of Peter Siddle - but on the whole it was the South Africans' day in front of a record first-day crowd for a non-Ashes Test at the Gabba since it was revamped in 1996.
Siddle first thought he had Kallis caught at mid-off by Nathan Lyon after the great all-rounder miscued a drive, only for Kallis to be recalled by umpire Asad Rauf after replays showed Siddle had overstepped by the smallest of margins.
Then the fast bowler, who celebrated a hat-trick on this ground against England two years ago, only had himself to blame as he grassed a fairly simple caught and bowled chance off Amla when he was on 74.
Kallis was on 43 when he had his reprieve, while Amla was looking imperious after his let off.
The Aussies' plan started well, with Proteas skipper Graeme Smith falling LBW to James Pattinson for 10 after a review, despite umpire Billy Bowden somehow missing the fact the ball would have smashed into off stump three-quarters up.