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Saturday, Oct 16th

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jacques_kallis_tonThe first test between Australia and South Africa at the Gabba appeared to be heading towards an exciting conclusion with the world no.1 Proteas side looking good in their attempt to force a result. South Africa, handicapped by the loss of JP Duminy due to a freak training injury, posted a competitive first innings score of 450 on the back of centuries from Jacques Kallis (147) and Hashim Amla (104). However, the afternoon did belong to the Aussie bowlers as they picked up 5 wickets for 76 runs after lunch. Australia had 25 overs to survive late in the day, and were in trouble at 40-3 in the 10th overs before battling to 111 without the loss of any additional wickets to end the day 339 runs behind.

After having lost the entire second day's play due to a torrential downpour, it was no surprise that South Africa's overnight duo of Amla and Kallis took some time to get their eye in again. Amla won the race to get to his century first, taking 227 balls to reach the landmark. He fell shortly after though, given out leg before off James Pattinson, though replays indicated that the decision would have been overturned on appeal, with Hawkeye indicating that the ball would have gone over the stumps. After consulting with Kallis though, Amla chose not to ask for a review, and Australia had landed a crucial early blow.

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Chris Gayle said he was looking forward to the West Indies' two-Test series against Bangladesh. The talismanic opener shared that he was glad to play a key role in West Indies winning the ICC World Twenty20 Tournament, but it was time to focus on the new challenge, and continue to help the visitors move up the World Rankings.

"It felt good to be part of a World champion team and to achieve that particular milestone," Gayle told reporters on Saturday. "It is something that I can look back in the future and say I was a part of it. Hopefully, we can build on that success and do better in the longer format of the game.

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hashim_amlaAn unbeaten 3rd wicket partnership worth 136 between Hashim Amla (90 from 207 balls) and Jacques Kallis (84 from 135 balls) saw the world no.1 South African side begin their tour of Australia on a positive note, posting 255 for the loss of just 2 wickets before bad light brought an early end to proceedings. There were three half-centurions with the bat today for the Proteas, who also had Alviro Petersen (64 from 127 balls) to thank for giving them a solid start.

The flip of the coin went South Africa's way and Graeme Smith had no hesitation in opting to make first use of what looked like a good batting deck in Brisbane. The skipper's luck ran out soon though, being given out leg before by the TV Umpire Richard Kettleborough, after on-field Umpire Billy Bowden had sided with the batsman, young James Pattinson producing the breakthrough in the 11th over to leave South Africa 29-1.

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It was a dream start to the final warm up game for England as each of their batsmen got some terrific playing time under their belts and they ended day 1 posting a massive score of 408/3. There was little or no respite for the Haryana bowlers, they were driven, cut, flicked, and smashed all around the park. Barring Amit Mishra and Jayant Yadav, the rest of the bowlers went wicketless on the first day despite bowling 63 overs between themselves.

England skipper Alastair Cook won the toss and opted to bat on a beautiful looking batting pitch. He and Nick Compton began briskly, pushing for ones and twos and finding the boundaries quite frequently. Despite sitting out in the last game, Cook played his strokes as though he'd been practicing at Motera for days. Compton, on the other hand, was a bit more selective and cautious, having been preferred over teammate Joe Root.

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Cricket Australia has welcomed an International Cricket Council ruling that it says brings day/night Test cricket one step closer.

The ICC announced yesterday that Test-match-participating countries may now agree to play day/night Test matches. The home and visiting boards will decide on the hours of play which will be six hours of scheduled play per day while the two boards will also decide on the precise brand, type and colour of ball to be used for the match, the ICC said.

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The Cricket Australia (CA) National Selection Panel (NSP) has today announced a 12-player squad to face world number one ranked Test nation South Africa at the Gabba next Friday in the first Vodafone Test of the 2012-13 international summer of cricket.

The Australian squad is: Michael Clarke (c), Shane Watson, David Warner, Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson, Ed Cowan, Ben Hilfenhaus, Mike Hussey, Ricky Ponting, Nathan Lyon, Matthew Wade, Peter Siddle

Commenting on the team, National Selector John Inverarity said: "The 12 man squad for the first Vodafone Test against South Africa is as many have predicted. Most discussion centred on the wicket-keeping role with both Matthew Wade and Brad Haddin presenting a strong and compelling case for inclusion.

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