2005–06 Australian Cricket Season - March - South Africa Tests and Pura Cup Final

South Africa Tests and Pura Cup Final

The first Test of the three-match series in South Africa, at Newlands, was over inside three days after Stuart Clark claimed nine for 89 on Test debut to be named Man of the Match in Australia's seven-wicket win. South Africa batted first, making 205 with Nicky Boje's 31 from number nine the highest score, and Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting then brought Australia within 30 of that before Ponting was caught off the bowling of Jacques Kallis. Another half-century, from Andrew Symonds, took Australia to a lead of 103, and Clark was leading wicket-taker in the second innings to bowl South Africa out for 197, and despite three wickets from Makhaya Ntini, Australia made it to the target and won their third successive Test against South Africa.

In the second Test, Ricky Ponting scored centuries in both the first and second innings to pass Don Bradman's mark of 29 Test hundreds, while a five-wicket-haul from Brett Lee helped Australia take a lead of 108 on first innings despite 114 from Jacques Kallis. Half an hour before tea on day four, Ponting declared with a lead of 409, but weather conditions stopped play after tea and meant Australia had one day to bowl out South Africa and take the Test series win . AB de Villiers added 91 with Graeme Smith for the first wicket, but Shane Warne accounted for them both and four more to take his first five-wicket-haul of the series and end with six for 86. South Africa were seven for 181 at one point, but Mark Boucher put on 72 with Nicky Boje for the eighth wicket and 39 with André Nel for the ninth to give South Africa a chance of the draw; however, with six overs remaining, Makhaya Ntini was given lbw to Warne and Australia could cheer.

The final match of the domestic season was played at the 'Gabba, and after the Bushrangers had made 344 in the first innings (with three batsmen, Brad Hodge, Nick Jewell and David Hussey, making over three quarters of the score), it was the hosts' turn to bat. They overtook the Victorian score with just one wicket lost, that of Lachlan Stevens for 66, and continued to bat well past it. In fact, they batted past the previous state record of 687 from 1930–31, with Jimmy Maher (223), Shane Watson (201, retired hurt), Clinton Perren (173) and Martin Love (169) all passing 150 for Queensland. They lost three wickets in four overs to Dirk Nannes after passing 850, but eventually declared on six for 900, the eleventh highest first class score of all time . The Queensland innings was also the first time in first-class cricket history that four individual scores of 150 occurred in the same innings. Mitchell Johnson then took two wickets before stumps on the third day, and four on the fourth, to help bowl the Bushrangers out for 202 and secure the Pura Cup for Queensland. Daniel Doran also took three wickets in the second innings.

  • First Test, 16 – 18 March: Australia beat South Africa by seven wickets
  • Second Test, 24 – 28 March: Australia beat South Africa by 112 runs
  • Pura Cup Final, 26 – 29 March: Queensland Bulls beat Victorian Bushrangers by an innings and 354 runs and won the Pura Cup

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