Join Kevin McCallum on the couch as he watches the Proteas bat for 187, with a target of 414 to reach and all sorts of records to break against the Aussies.
4.27am: Right, 187 to win, a target of 414 to reach; all sorts of records to break. Piece of old takkie, this. Jacques Kallis gets the run chase off to a start with a shot off his hips to square leg. Here we go. Gulp.
4.45am: South Africa reach 234/3, which is the same score they were on when Mitchell Johnson ripped them apart on the second day. Oooer….
5.13am: Michael Clarke takes the ball. “He has a tattoo on his arm that reads ‘seize the day’,” says Tony Greig. “I thought that would be something you would be able to remember without getting it tattooed on your arm.” Michael Slater got a tattoo of his Test number on his neck; he got the number wrong, though.
5.58am: Wicket! Kallis goes out to a Johnson sucker ball, cracking it to Michael Hussey. Robin Brett Procter, on SuperSport’s “unbiased commentary”, is distraught: “Oh no! Oh no!” Still, Kallis scored 50 and has gone past 9900 runs, only the seventh player ever to have done so. His assault on the evening of the fourth day switched the momentum of the match again.
6.13am: “That Boucher’s a hard man,” says Richie Benaud as the camera swings to Bouch sitting padded up in the changerooms. “I’ve always admired him. He loves a scrap.”
6.18am: Now Benaud admits he has a soft spot for JP Duminy, who gets off the mark with a flick to leg, taking the target required to under 100. We love you more, Richie. Please SuperSport, hire Richie for the summer, and not Greig.
6.30am: Lunch, and Robin Jackman admits Proccie is a gibbering, nervous wreck, while he is “sweaty palmed”. As is an entire nation, Jackers.
7.46am: The Australian coach Tim Nielsen, in conversation with Mark Nicholas, admits he is a “little nervous”.
7.51am: Every one of the Channel 9 commentators has advice for Ponting as the match starts slipping away from Australia. Benaud confirms that the punters have jumped ship: “Latest odds on betfair.com have SA at A$1.30 for the win and Australia at A$7.” On day four they were the other way round.
8.02am: AB de Villiers drives for four through the covers to take the target to under 60. Graeme Smith has not moved from his seat in the first and second sessions.
8.15am: A late cut for four from Duminy takes the score under 50. “Should be a walk in the park,” says Tubby Taylor. Duminy hits the next ball off Krejza for six and Tubby tries to buy a wicket by giving the KFC Classic Catches a plug. Three South Africans have fallen every time the competition comes on.
8.30am: With 40 needed to win, Nicholas, on the unbiased channel, wonders if early morning cups of coffee are being replaced with “spook and diesel”. Jackers hopes it is: “I just got an SMS from a mate in South Africa saying he is so tense, but that it’s too early to open a beer. I told him to go ahead and do it.” Nicholas: “A friend of mine in South Africa has just sent a text: ‘Be still my beating heart’.” Indeed.
8.35am: You can get great odds of 55/1 for an Australian win on betfair.com right now.
8.37am: JP hits Lee past long off for four. Just 29 to win.
8.47am: De Villiers goes to 100 with a pull for four. There are just 12 to win. It’s gone all quiet in the Channel 9 box.
8.53am: With seven to win, Makhaya Ntini has the iPod in and is dancing in the changing room. Biff is standing up now.
8.55am: Victory! 1-0 up in the series! JP runs three, goes to 50 and SA win by six wickets. Bugger it, I’m having a beer. The entire country is going to have a beer. Let’s party like it’s 1994Tweet