Wednesday, 16 January, 2019

Australia one wicket away from beating South Africa in Durban

Melissa Porter | 06 March, 2018, 15:09

Seventeen minutes and 22 balls were all Australia needed to wrap up their third consecutive Kingsmead Test win with a thorough 118-run hammering of South Africa.

Starting off the day on 293/9, South Africa only managed to add five runs to their overnight score before Quinton de Kock was trapped lbw off the bowling of Josh Hazlewood for 83, which came off 149 balls and included 11 boundaries.

Australia were five wickets from victory at tea on the fourth day in Durban, despite the best fighting efforts of South Africa opener Aiden Markram to delay their progress.

The subdued finish to the test in a stadium that was almost empty of fans was in contrast to a fiery fourth day's play on Sunday.

Warner is alleged to have made comments about de Kock's mother and sister on the field while de Kock was batting, and de Kock apparently responded with comments concerning Warner's wife, leading to the staircase incident. He got Vernon Philander out on the second delivery of that over and was on his hat trick after sending the ball crashing into the stumps of Keshav Maharaj and Kagiso Rabada off the fifth and sixth deliveries. "As I said before the series, it's going to be a real crucial part, the amount of runs scored between eight and eleven". Earlier in the game, Australia had posted 351 runs on the board riding on a fine 96 from Mitch Marsh.

Australia looked to be heading to an easy win when they set South Africa 417 for victory before taking four key home wickets for just 49 runs before lunch as they devastated the home team's top order. South Africa found the going tough in their first innings with the bat as they were skittled out for 162 and conceding a 189-run lead to the Australians.

With the second new ball due and Starc gunning for the second 10-wicket haul of his Test career, Smith was told by the umpires he couldn't use any of his quicks.

Australia wicketkeeper Tim Paine also moves in to block Warner before his captain Steve Smith ushers the opening batsman away. The 27 runs added by last four wickets (seventh to tenth) is the lowest for South Africa in any Test since readmission and their third lowest ever.

South Africa were left with a daunting target of 416 runs to chase in the final things and things did go their way as Dean Elgar (9), Hashim Amla (8), AB de Villiers (0) and Faf du Plessis (4) all were dismissed in single digits.

Warner appeared to give both de Villiers and Aiden Markram a spray, presumably critiquing their running between the wickets after a awful mix-up led to the former being dismissed for a duck.

The teams now travel to Port Elizabeth for Friday's second Test at St George's Park, the venue where a Dale Steyn-inspired Proteas won in emphatic fashion four years ago to level the series at 1-1. By the way they added 227 runs to their first innings and presented nearly big score in front of the Proteas. "It's the way we play our cricket against them - we expect it".