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Cricket | Australia tour of South Africa 2017/18

Kagiso Rabada © Reuters Images

Proteas bounce back to level series

South Africa relished a relatively convincing six-wicket win over Australia on day four of the key second test at St George's Park in Port Elizabeth on Monday.

Full scorecard: South Africa v Australia
Day 4 interactive coverage

Pursuing a modest 101-run total after restricting the Australians' second innings to a mere 243 all out, the Proteas welcomed triumph inside the opening hour after lunch, as the four-match series drew level one-all.

"We were outplayed in all aspects," conceded Australian captain Steve Smith at the post-match presentation.

An attacking cameo from batsman AB de Villiers effectively capped a result built by fast bowler Kagiso Rabada's telling match haul of 11 for 150.

Rabada added to a solid five for 96 in the first innings with a superb six for 54 in the second.

De Villiers and fellow veteran Hashim Amla ensured a potential collapse in the wake of the relatively early losses of openers Aiden Markram and Dean Elgar was avoided.

De Villiers proved characteristically aggressive, striking an entertaining 28 to Amla's complementary 27. Both, however, perished late in the piece.

The advances of spinner Nathan Lyon and fast bowler Pat Cummins, however, were ultimately thwarted.

Captain Faf du Plessis and the inexperienced Theunis de Bruyn, who will probably be replaced by the returning Temba Bavuma for the penultimate test, comfortably removed the remaining 20 runs.


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Rabada had welcomed the fourth 10-wicket haul of a burgeoning test career. At 22 years old, he has the joint-most 10-fors for any bowler before 23. Pakistan's Waqar Younis achieved the same.

"Australia were never going to give in easily so you had to go to the reserve tank and give of your best," Rabada said after being named man-of-the-match.

The fiery Proteas pace ace, meanwhile, is currently the subject of two International Cricket Council charges, after reportedly made physical contact with opposition skipper Steven Smith on purpose - and the arguably unsavoury send-off of opener David Warner last week.

If found guilty, he will likely be suspended for the rest of the series.

"It's a disappointment for the series because you want to have your best players in the series," said captain Du Plessis

South Africa and Australia have now met 96 times in test match cricket, with the former triumphant on 24 occasions and the latter 52. They have shared 20 draws.

The third test will get underway at Newlands on 22 March. The South Africans have lost just four of their last 30 tests at the Cape Town venue. All four were at the hands of the Aussies, 2014, 2006, 2002 and 1994.

The fourth and final fixture will be played at the Wanderers in Johannesburg, respectively.

Report Day 1
Report Day 2
Report Day 3

SOUTH AFRICA: Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis (capt), Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock (wk), Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Lungisani Ngidi

AUSTRALIA: David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith (capt), Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood


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