Australia avert registering lowest-ever innings total in Tests

Vernon Philander (C) took five wickets in Australia’s second innings to bring South Africa back into the match Getty Images

Cape Town: Nov 10, 2011

Australia escaped the ignominy of being bowled out for Test cricket’s lowest-ever score after they were reduced to 21 for nine before being dismissed for 47 by South Africa in the second innings of the first Test on a pacy Newlands track.

The Aussies were staring down the barrel at 21 for nine when debutant Vernon Philander sent back Shaun Marsh, but the visitors avoided the dubious distinction when Peter Siddle’s edge off Philander went through the slip and gully for a boundary.

South Africa eventually bowled out the Aussies in 18 overs for the 10th lowest score in the history of Test cricket.

South Africa, themselves, were at the receiving end earlier in the day as Australia, led by Shane Watson’s five for 17, bundled out the hosts for 96 in the first innings.

Dubutant Philander then rocked the Aussie line-up with an incisive spell fast bowling during which he picked up 5 wickets for 15 runs while Morne Morkel joined in the annihilation by accounting for three batsmen on a day when a staggering 22 wickets fell.

After Dale Steyn wrecked havoc on the first day, picking up four wickets, Watson responded for Australia as South Africa collapsed, but what followed after that was a total annihilation.

New Zealand, who were shot out for 26 by England way back in 1954-55, hold the record for the lowest score, followed by South Africa (30) against England in 1895-96 and 1924.

South Africa also hold the third position as they were bowled out for 35 by England in 1998-99.

Australia’s 36 all out against England and South Africa’s identical score against the Aussies are fourth in the list. (PTI)