What now for Qantas?

first_imgA Qantas A380. Photo: Qantas The Qantas headline loss of $2.8 billion announced today is sobering but necessary as the airline strives to clear the deck to restructure for today’s much tougher operating environment.While it is the worst result in Australian aviation history it appears that the worst is over and clearer skies are ahead for the Australian icon.And the airline is forecasting that it will return to profit in the current financial year!The good news for the staff is that there will be no new job losses above the 5,000 announced earlier this year.While many will be screaming for Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce’s head analysts appear to be supporting the airline’s strategy.Besides, anyone delivering the tough medicine that Mr Joyce has to would be extremely unpopular.Qantas has been battling many problems – mostly the result of previous management errors.Australian travellers have been deserting the airline for years.Initially it was because of cabin offerings. Malaysia Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific started the rot offering free drinks way back in the late 1960s. Qantas and other airlines reluctantly followed.Fast forward to the early 1990s and Singapore Airlines led the way with seatback videos for economy passengers. Emirates and Virgin Atlantic were also early adopters of entertainment for all. Inextricably, Qantas was stoic in its resistance.The airline also turned its back on premium economy with Qantas saying the airline could not “make the business case”, despite the fact that Australians are the second tallest people in the world behind the Dutch and fly the longest distances after the Kiwis.Premium economy is a no-brainer, as the airline has now discovered, just as Business Class was when Qantas was first to introduce it in 1979.In the international space Qantas faces unprecedented competition from a host of airlines such as AirAsia, Etihad Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand which have lower costs and/or better products for passengers. For years Qantas has traded on – and charged a premium for – its superb safety record. In the movie Rain Man, Dustin Hoffman, playing Raymond Babbitt, uttered the now famous words that “Qantas never crashes”.The movie came out in 1988 at a time when Qantas was at the top of its game with well over 40 per cent of the traffic into and out of Australia.Government policy was to protect the national carrier from foreign competition; an airline which taxpayers owned and which was selling tickets at a premium to adoring travellers at a time when well-known airlines like Pan Am, Alitalia, Korean Air, and Continental Airlines were having many accidents. In 1989 there were 231 accidents and incidents, which made Qantas’ unblemished record shine.The landscape is starkly different today with most of its competitors boasting fatality free records over the past 20 years.However Qantas’ immediate clear and present danger is the emergence of rival Virgin Australia, with lower staff costs and greater productivity, into the premium domestic market, an area in which it has enjoyed a monopoly for the past 10 years.Much has been said about Qantas’s staff efficiency but the debate must also be a debate about all of Australia’s work practices and salary perks such as weekend and penalty pay rates, 17.5 per cent leave loading and such anachronistic institutions as long service leave.Many reading this would not even understand the origins of long service leave which began in South Australia and Victoria in the 1860s as a scheme that allowed civil servants three months or more leave to go home to Britain after 10 years’ service in the colonies. The lengthy time off was dictated by the long ship journey to and from Australia. Long service leave became widespread in the 1950s and no other country incorporates such a right into their labour market regulations.Holiday leave loading’s origins are just as bizarre relating to the fact that employees cannot earn overtime while they are on leave.But changing work practices and increasing efficiency will only come if Qantas can change its culture and that is a far bigger task. Charles Darwin wrote that “it is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” This idea was alluded to by former British Airways and Ansett CEO Rod Eddington when he warned in a 2004 interview with the author that achieving that responsiveness is extremely difficult.“Changing airline culture is like trying to perform an engine change in-flight,” Eddington said at the time. When Mr Eddington arrived at British Airways in 2000 he found that the staff did not perceive the need to change because the airline had a low cost airline called Go. He found that staff believed that Go mitigated or even eliminated the need for further adjustments at the mainline airline.He noted that it was difficult to change this mindset until Go was sold off to easyJet. “Once we sold Go, the staff at BA really focused on making the changes necessary to make BA itself competitive,” said Mr Eddington.Similarly with Qantas it can possibly be argued that the success of Jetstar is having a negative impact on the need for change at the mainline operation.Surveys have shown that another reason for the resistance to change is that although employees agree change is needed, they do not believe they themselves need to change.For example, at an American Airlines management conference in the late 1990s, all participants were polled on a series of questions. More than 90 per cent responded positively to the proposition that management, colleagues and subordinates needed to change, but 90 per cent responded in the negative to the item “I need to change.”Qantas like so many legacy carriers has evolved out of a military base and much of the management style, marketplace orientation and paraphernalia of culture still reflect an authoritarian, hierarchical and command-and-control worldview.Successive management teams have sidestepped taking on the more militant unions to address gross inefficiencies and ludicrous perks which dog the airline. Over the past 10 years, the launch of low cost Jetstar and a monopoly in the domestic business class market courtesy of the demise of Ansett, have masked the need for massive restructure.But that has all changed!And it now appears that Qantas is changing and that change is gaining momentum.New products will soon be rolled out, the fleet has been streamlined and over 250 separate projects are underway to cut out $2 billion from its cost base.It appears that blue skies may be returning to the flying kangaroo but the staff must get behind and support Mr Joyce.last_img read more

A paradise for rescued birds

first_imgThis red masked and Patagonian conure are best friends. A native of Australia, the delicately coloured Rosie, a galah cockatoo, has settled into life under the Birds of Eden dome. Although all the birds have been dehumanised, many of them are still fearless when it comes to human interaction. The mesh dome covers a surface area of over two hectares and is 55m off the ground at its highest point. Calik the spectacled langur and his lady friend, a Hanuman langur, are two of the tiny primates that have found sanctuary at Birds of Eden.(Images: Birds of Eden)MEDIA CONTACTS • Lee DekkerManager, Birds of Eden+27 44 534 8906 or +27 79 646 7474Janine ErasmusThe Birds of Eden avian sanctuary, located 16km east of Plettenberg Bay on the picturesque Garden Route in the Western Cape, is the biggest single-dome free flight aviary in the world. It’s a home and a haven for exotic birds and miniature monkeys who would otherwise struggle to survive in the wild.Situated in Eden Municipality – hence the name – the sanctuary opened in December 2005 and is a popular attraction on the Garden Route.However, it also offers an important service in that it accepts previously caged birds and tiny monkeys whose owners want to give them a better life.The creatures live under a wire mesh dome which covers over 2.3 hectares of lush indigenous forest, with a volume of over 375 000 kilolitres.To more easily visualise the dome’s surface area, imagine an international rugby field, which has a total playing area of roughly one hectare including the area behind the dead ball line. Then imagine two and a half rugby fields next to each other. In volume terms, a kilolitre contains 1 000 litres.At its maximum height the dome soars 55m above the ground, giving the birds plenty of room to fly. It’s supported by a network of cables running between 28 masts which vary in height between 2m and 34m. According to Birds of Eden, the mesh and supporting structures weigh about 80 tons.The dome encloses a dam for waterfowl and a gorge with a waterfall. The forest vegetation is Afromontane, and includes tree species such as Ironwood olive (Olea capensis), the Outeniqua yellowwood (Podocarpus falcatus), the black (Ocotea bullata) and white (Celtis african) stinkwood, and the Cape beech (Rapanea melanophloeos).Bird lovers may opt to take the official guidebook and wander through the dome on their own, over some 1.2km of walkways, or as part of a guided tour. The majority of walkways are elevated, so visitors can get close to birds perching in trees.Birds of Eden is affiliated with the next-door Monkeyland primate sanctuary, and both are run under the South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance, previously known as the Touch a Monkey’s Heart Foundation.Monkeyland operates on much the same principles with its four-legged charges, although there is no covered dome but rather a 6.5m-high electrified fence surrounding the 12ha of primate paradise.Some monkey species, such as tamarins and marmosets, are too small to be released into the larger sanctuary, and these are the ones who’ve found a home next door with the birds under the dome.A second chanceAmong Birds of Eden’s 204 different species are waterfowl, louries, toucans, macaws and parrots, lorikeets and parakeets, cranes, flamingos, starlings and robins – but no raptors.There are over 3 500 individual birds in the dome, which is also home to leopard tortoise, several species of snake, little duikers, and other creatures.“We take previously caged birds, mostly exotics,” says Lee Dekker, manager of the sanctuary. “African birds can in many cases be released, but birds that originate from further afield simply won’t survive in the wild.”Birds are also taken in after SPCA confiscations, or may come from zoos or experimental facilities.Using a tried and tested technique called the Eden Syndrome, staff prepare birds for their new life.In the pre-release stage, which can take many months, the birds are dehumanised, put onto the right diet for their species, and allowed to socialise with others in a large aviary. Here they can also build up their flight muscles, especially if they’ve had to sit on a perch in a cage for a long time.“When we receive a bird we do a health test so that we know what we have to do to get it flying fit,” says Dekker. “The birds are put onto a natural diet and are closely monitored after their release.”Most birds are easily able to recognise their own kind but, says Dekker, some have made friendships across the species divide.Their natural instincts are also unimpaired – when they get released into the main dome, it doesn’t take them long to find the spot that’s exactly suited for them.Colourful charactersOver the years, many colourful characters have found their way into the hearts of staff and visitors.One of these is 38-year-old Meisiekind, a Catalina macaw, who has lived in cages for most of her life. Meisie was frustrated with her circumstances and when her owners had a baby, the bird became angry that she wasn’t getting all the attention, which added to her temper problem. Finally, she bit her rival’s finger off and while surgeons were able to reattach the child’s finger, the macaw had to go. Birds of Eden was the answer.Rosie the galah cockatoo is another celebrity bird. Australian in origin, the galah is one of the most common and widespread of Australian birds. True to her name, Rosie is pink and grey in colour and is a confident and friendly bird, often greeting visitors by asking, “Hello, what’s the time?” It took 18 months to get Rosie ready for release into the dome, but she has settled in and is now familiar with all parts of her new home.Before any of these creatures can be released into the dome or the larger enclosure, they have to be able to find food and shelter on their own and be able to fly or move around with confidence. Feeding platforms throughout the forest offer a selection of seeds, fruit, vegetables and nuts, and the birds and monkeys have to learn firstly that the platforms exist and secondly, how to find them.But thanks to the Eden Syndromw, says Dekker, Birds of Eden has never had a failure.last_img read more

Social Revolution: Crowdsourcing For Change

first_imgRelated Posts Tags:#Government#People in Tech#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market michael tchong A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting How often have you thought our country needs to change? That something is fundamentally and systemically wrong that needs fixing? And that things could be fixed if we leveraged social media to find the best ideas to agree on?In the world of technology, we’re used to upheaval. In fact, we rely on it to drive innovation and improvements. So why can’t we use technology to solve some of the underlying problems we all agree need to change?Technology innovations have often been able to fill gaps – even leapfrog them in many cases – between our “old world” habits and the demands of the “new world.”How Technology Plugs GapsApple is a classic example of what I’m talking about. We used to live in a world where music lived on compact discs. Then came MP3 files, which made music infinitely more accessible – too accessible some might say. But it took Apple to make buying music and transferring it to a portable player easy, putting your entertainment microcosm in the palm of your hand. Today, the iTunes Store is the world’s largest music retailer.Another revolution is taking place in retailing, where the use of “big data” – the technology of parsing huge amounts of customer information to help companies like Target, for example, identify whether a female shopper is pregnant and offer her appropriate products – is significantly reshaping marketing.This type of insight has privacy advocates up in arms. Technology’s benefits often cut both ways, yet it’s evident that this type of arrangement holds the potential to benefit both marketers and consumers – letting Target offer shoppers useful and timely promotions without consumers having to lift a finger.In our high-speed world ruled by Time Compression, nothing has roiled financial markets more than the art of high-frequency trading, which combines sophisticated algorithms with millisecond performance to give equity traders a distinct advantage.And in education, perhaps the thorniest challenge of all, Khan Academy has made giant strides using a primitive set of YouTube videos that can be watched for free. This is a remarkable achievement considering U.S. spending on education has jumped 17-fold since 1970 without a lot to show for it. Change Everyone Can Believe InThese examples vividly illustrate how technology has brought beneficial change to entertainment, retailing and education, so the question is why can’t we use technology to change the body politic?As the founder of Social Revolution, I am trying to do just that. Social Revolution aims to harness innovative ideas through crowdsourcing, and distill them into a “Business Plan for U.S.A.” to help propel the country forward.We’re going to crowdsource ideas in five key areas – education, healthcare, business, finance and government. All these sectors are clearly ripe for a major disruption.To manage the idea stream, we’re relying on an innovative crowdsourcing platform from Pleasanton, Calif.-based Spigit. If you’re a company or individual that wants real change, and have a cogent idea about how to implement it, we want to hear from you. If you’re using technology to make things better, we need to hear from you.At Social Revolution, we believe that applying the new technologies offered by social media will unleash the power of ideas and turn the status quo on its head. Crowdsourcing has already shown its disruptive power in a number of fields.Wikipedia is perhaps the best-known example of a crowdsourcing success story, leading Encyclopedia Britannica to give up on its print edition earlier this year.Yelp has similarly reinvented the restaurant review business, while TripAdvisor has upended the travel industry with its incisive crowdsourced reviews.The time is certainly right. A surging interest in “clicktivism” has enabled Change.org to sign up 13 million clicktivists, proving that our population wants to get more engaged and involved.As President John F. Kennedy once said, “A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.” To put a sharper point on it, allow me to paraphrase Steve Jobs’ pitch to hire Pepsi’s John Sculley, “Do you want to read sugar water the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?” last_img read more

Resources from Investing Webinar

first_imgDr. Barbara O’Neill shared a number of resources during our March 4 webinar, Investing for Your Future 1: Basic Concepts and Investment Products. We hope these resources will be useful to PFMs. Please feel free to share your own resources on investing in the comments section. And please check the event page to view a recording of this webinar. Also, please be sure to join us on Thursday, March 14 at 11 a.m. Eastern for part 2 in this series, Investing for Your Future 2: Mutual Funds and Tax-Deferred Investments. Saving Vs. InvestingGoal setting worksheetTaxable vs. tax advantaged calculatorDetermining net worth in Print and Excel spreadsheetDiversificationDollar cost averagingRule of 72 on AmericanCentury.com and MoneyChimp.comAsset allocation calculatorsPortfolio rebalancingAbout stocksHistorical perspectives on stocksEarnings per shareFederal Marginal Tax BracketsBond ratingsAbout corporate bondsInvestment return calculatorHow to calculate total returnsAvoid investment fraud tipsBeware of investment fraudRutgers Investment Risk Tolerance QuizeXtension Ask an Expert and FAQsBetter InvestingAmerican Association of Individual InvestorsMyMoney.govU.S. Securities and Exchange CommissionState securities regulatorsCentral Registration Depository (CRD)FINRA BrokerCheck®Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) This post was originally published on the Military Families Learning Network blog on March 5, 2013.last_img read more

NAB 2019: Atlas Reveals Anamorphic 25mm Lens and LF Extender

first_imgAt NAB 2019, Atlas Lens Co unveiled their impressive new 25mm anamorphic lens and LF Extender. Here’s what we know so far.Shooting with anamorphic lenses is becoming more and more accessible thanks to companies like Atlas. Their anamorphic lineup is absolutely stunning — and one of the most challenging things you can do as a lens company is design a good wide anamorphic lens. It seems like Atlas has done that very thing. The lens has a staggering 134mm outside diameter and seems to produce some truly arresting images.Atlas has revealed their latest lens prototype, the 25mm, as well as their new LF extender, which will allow their 2x anamorphic lineup to work with LF-sized sensors like the ARRI LF, RED Monstro, and Sony VENICE. The new extender will also cover the Sony a7 series, as well as other full-frame mirrorless cameras. This extender is actually available right now for $2,000, and if you purchase an extender with a lens, they’ll knock the price down to $1,849.Here is the LF Extender in action.Newsshooter spoke with Atlas about the new lens, the extender, and how the company is bringing their lenses to all types of cameras.As for the lens itself, there aren’t official specs because, apparently, they built the lens just two weeks ago. But that’s to be expected with that kind of turnaround.We recently tested their anamorphic lineup and were super thrilled with the results. Behold: Looking for more coverage of NAB 2019? Check out these articles.NAB 2019: Polar Pro’s New Peter McKinnon Variable ND FilterNAB 2019: LaCie Drops Their New 8TB Rugged RAID Shuttle DriveNAB 2019: Aputure’s New Gear — The 300d II, LEKO Attachment, and MoreNAB 2019: LiteMat Spectrum Shakes up the Light Panel GameNAB 2019: First Looks at the Sharp 8K Micro Four Thirds Cameralast_img read more

Industry Interview: “Whiplash” Production Designer Melanie Jones

first_imgProduction Designer Melanie Jones discusses working low-budget on “Whiplash,” the color palette of “La Llorona,” and recreating the ’80s with Mötley Crüe.Melanie Jones has a résumé that spans genres and formats. We sat down to talk about her work and the challenges of production design for both film and television.PremiumBeat: When you’re starting a new project, what’s your most important resource? Do you mine the screenplay, dialogue with the director, do independent period or regional research — or is it a combination of many elements?Melanie Jones: All of the above and tons of research. I pull hundreds of images from big scope ideas down to small detail, like door knobs and light switches, for example.Insidious: The Last Key.PB: You’ve done several horror films — Insidious: The Last Key, Truth or Dare, and The Curse of La Llorona. Are there genre design tropes you embrace or avoid? And what creates more horror from your perspective: leaning into creepy design elements or avoiding them?MJ: Color first. Dark or sickly colors can influence a mood. Shapes can be more or less scary. I make my choices based on the story, so each movie (scary or otherwise) will be a bit different.Melanie Jones with the cast of The Dirt (via IMDB).PB: The Dirt detailed the wild ride of bad boy band Mötley Crüe. I would assume much of their ’80s landscape might be different today. What was your process in recreating the look and feel of the times they rocked?MJ: We shot in New Orleans, not Los Angeles, so we had to recreate everything. Here’s a good example of research. I pulled so many images for this — any MC stuff I could find but also rock from the ’70s and ’80s, in general. Other bands, dressing rooms, equipment, fashion, furniture — once we had the research, we found or built places to look like those periods. We built the Whiskey A Go Go facade over another corner building in New Orleans. We built their apartment on stage. Totally redecorated the inside of the bus. Built the airplane on stage. And so on.The Curse of La Llorona.PB: Whiplash was such a critical success. It was Damian Chazelle’s first feature. The budget had to have been modest. What challenges did you face working on the picture, and did you have any an idea it would be so successful?MJ: I knew it was a special script, and working with Damien, you got a sense that he was an unusual talent but you never really know what will happen. The budget was tiny, so I suggested we try and stay in one place, or move as little as possible. I asked the location department to find a building that felt like Midtown Manhattan. We shot in Los Angeles, and we picked the Palace Theater. We did at least half the film there. I built Fletcher’s band studio on the actual stage — we used the foyer, the 6th floor loft, an office on the 3rd floor, the basement, etc.Bless This Mess.PB: You’ve worked consistently between TV (most recently ABC’s Bless This Mess) and feature films. How is the role of the production designer different based on the medium?MJ: With TV, there is much less prep time — a week per episode, once you’ve got the permanent sets built. So you’re busy all the time, if it’s an active show. I don’t limit my creative process, but I know with TV, the scope may not be as big, so we keep things succinct. With film, there is a lot more prep time and you tend to see more. There is more volume though. For instance, The Dirt had 86 sets shot in 35 days. So film can get crazy, too. It’s a crazy job really, either way.Melanie Jones at The Dirt Premiere (via IMDB).PB: Your resumé is wildly diverse — horror, comedy, drama, biography. Do you have a favorite genre playground?MJ: I like them all. I want to do them all, and I don’t want to be typecast. I come from theater (originally), and in my experience, there is less of an issue about genre. It’s just all theater. I watch all different types of movies and enjoy them equally. I am about the story — 100%. The aesthetic is a product of that, then you push it one direction or another, to help set a mood. I enjoy the challenge of creating sets I haven’t done before, so crossing genre is a good way to keep experiencing new things.Cover image via Whiplash (photo by Daniel McFadden — © 2014 — Sony Pictures Classics).Looking for more industry interviews? Check these out.Interview: “My Dinner with Herve” Composer David NorlandThe Universal Language of Music: Interview with Composer Jacob YoffeeIndustry Insights: Behind the Scenes with Editor Nena ErbMake Your Documentaries Matter with Awe-Inspiring MaterialComposer David Schwartz on VEEP, The Good Place and Arrested Developmentlast_img read more

PH bows out of 3×3 U-18 quarters

first_imgEncho Serrano tries to score past the stingy Belgian defense. Photo by Fiba.comThe Philippines staged a gallant stand but fell to Belgium, 18-14, Sunday in the quarterfinals of the 2017 Fiba 3×3 Under-18 World Cup in Chengdu, China.The young Nationals could not sustain their hot start as they lost hold of a 7-4 lead and allowed the Belgians to stage a 6-1 run and grab the 10-8 advantage.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Though Encho Serrano and AJ Edu brought the Philippines back and tied the game at 12, Vincent Peeters anchored Belgium’s strong finishing kick to earn a spot in the semifinals and face Slovenia.The Philippines could still hold its head high as the boys towed the country to its best ever finish in the tournament since its foundation in 2012.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsSerrano topped the Philippines with six points, while Edu added five markers. Juan Gomez de Liano had three in the game. /atmThe Scores: What ‘missteps’? China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong Cayetano to unmask people behind ‘smear campaign’ vs him, SEA Games Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend MOST READ Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ BELGIUM 18 – Peeters 6, Nouhi 5, Fogang 5, Coppens 2.PHILIPPINES 14 – Serrano 6, Edu 5, Gomez de Liano 3, Amsali 0.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. From former school teacher to world champion, Horn fulfills dream LATEST STORIES Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Gameslast_img read more

Ashwin’s three wickets, lively fielding drive India’s fightback,Ashwin’s three wickets, lively fielding drive India’s fightback

first_imgcricket SHARE SHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENT South Africa Published on India India effected a dramatic turnaround by taking three wickets for five runs in the last hour to reduce South Africa to 269 for six at stumps on the opening day of the second Test here.Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin snared three crucial wickets as the visitors fought back after the duo of Hashim Amla (82) and Aiden Markram (94) batted resolutely.At the end of day’s play, captain Faf du Plessis was unbeaten on 24 runs (77 balls, 3 fours) while Keshav Maharaj was batting on 10.On a day when the Indian pacers failed to make much of a dent on an easy-paced wicket, Aswhin (3/90) emerged as the most successful bowler as he dismissed Markram (94), Dean Elgar (31) and Quinton de Kock (0).The hosts were going strong with Amla (82) anchoring the Proteas innings after Markram, playing on his home ground, missed out on a well-deserved century by a whisker.However, two run-outs and a wicket by Ashwin within 13 balls saw South Africa slump from 246/3 to 251/6 as India sought to wrest control of the match while somewhat masking a couple of questionable selections in the playing XI.Post tea, Amla and AB de Villiers (20) took their third- wicket partnership to 51 runs. South Africa crossed 200 in the 64th over, but not before losing de Villiers as he played on off Ishant Sharma (1-32), who got just reward for his toiling spells.Amla then put on 47 runs with du Plessis, and in doing so, scored his 36th Test half-century off 99 balls. It looked to be a dominant day for the hosts before a mini-collapse came by.First, in the 81st over, Amla was run-out against the run of play, getting mixed up with du Plessis as he set off for a single but Hardik Pandya (0-37) found the target on the non- striker’s end off his bowling.Two balls later, Ashwin dismissed Quinton de Kock for a golden duck, caught at slip. Vernon Philander (0) was then run-out on the last ball of the 83rd over as he set off for a run even as du Plessis called no from the non-striker’s end.India took the new ball in the 87th over, but South Africa managed to avoid any further damage.Earlier, Aiden Markram scored 94 runs as South Africa reached 182/2 at tea. The opener faced 150 balls and hit 15 fours.Post lunch, Markram and Dean Elgar (31) took their opening stand to 85 runs. Ashwin got the breakthrough for India early in the session, albeit it was a lucky dismissal.The shot from Elgar hit Murali Vijay in the mid-riff and lodged there, with the fielder acting quickly enough to catch it.India then attacked Amla with short stuff as also attempting to lure him outside the off-stump. Jasprit Bumrah (0-57) was unimpressive in this spell, unable to find the right line to attack the batsmen.Mohammed Shami (0-46) was haywire too, and India had to recall Ishant and Ashwin back into the attack. Meanwhile, Amla and Markram added 63 runs for the second wicket.Markram’s wicket came against the run of play. He asked for DRS review and was a tad unlucky as the edge was doubtful.But there wasn’t sufficient evidence to overturn the on-field umpire’s decision.South Africa had crossed 100 in the 36th over, and their 150 came up in the 47th. Amla, batting on 30 then, was lucky to survive as Parthiv Patel dropped him off Ishant in the 51st over, the ball going down leg side after the batsman edged it.In the morning, South Africa had reached 78 for no loss at lunch making first use of an easy day one pitch.Elgar and Markram had started watchfully against the new-ball pairing of Bumrah and Shami, the latter conceding 23 runs off his four overs.The new ball bowlers failed to create any chances, and Ishant came on as first-change in the 8th over. He immediately troubled Elgar and continued to do so throughout his first spell.Pandya came on to bowl in the 13th over. By the 20th over, when Ashwin was introduced into the attack, India had used up all their frontline bowlers in just over an hour’s play.Ashwin too probed Elgar, and in the 24th over, had a caught-behind appeal turned down. India opted for DRS review but there was no edge.The Proteas had crossed 50 in the 21st over. Meanwhile, Markram reached his second Test half-century off 81 balls, just before the break.India made three changes to their eleven, with KL Rahul replacing Shikhar Dhawan and Ishant Sharma coming in for Bhuvneshwar Kumar, which attracted widespread criticism from former players.Wriddhiman Saha was ruled out due to a strain and Parthiv Patel took his place in the team. PTI January 13, 2018 × COMMENTSlast_img read more