The test match at Perth featuring Australia and South Africa finished in a draw. This is a rarity since in recent times test matches have been witnessing runs scored at a fast rate. There is another rarity that Australia could not finish off their rivals in a day and a bit, on arguably the fastest pitch. This is what separates the present Australian team from that under Steve Waugh. Despite having the likes of McGrath, Warne and Brett Lee the Aussies have lacked the cutting edge.
The South Africans were never in the hunt for the target of 491 runs despite all the big talk from their skipper, Graeme Smith. In the first innings, the two sides appeared to be evenly matched reminding one of the matches between the two teams when the Proteas just returned to the fold of international cricket.
The South Africans were surprisingly uninspiring in the fielding department, letting off a few of the Aussie batsmen. Brad Hodge was dropped on 13 and he went on to score a double hundred in his third test match.
The South Africans were able to save the match thanks to the marathon innings played by Jacques Rudolph. The left hander was at the crease for the entire 5th day. That is something of a novelty these days since batsmen are far more inclined to play the shots rather than occupy the crease. This innings was certainly something that batsmen of the past such as Boycott, Gavaskar would have been proud of.
Warne was once again in the headlines for the right reasons. He became the highest wickettaker in one calendar year going past his countryman Dennis Lillee. It is to be seen whether he can take 12 wickets in the boxing day test at Melbourne to score a century of a different kind.