Proteas crush Australia to level series

2014-02-23 19:12

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South Africa: 423 and 270/5 declared (Amla 127*, De Kock 34, De Villiers 29, Johnson 2/51, Siddle 2/89)

Australia: 246 and 216 all out (Rogers 107, Warner 66, Steyn 4/55, Philander 2/39, Elgar 1/24, Duminy 1/33)

South Africa won by 231 runs

Dean Elgar’s golden arm did the trick as the Proteas claimed victory in the second test to level the series.

South Africa required the last over of an extended final session to dismiss a resolute Australian team but the big swing moment was the marginal run-out of the superb Chris Rogers, who stood between the Proteas and defeat.

After compiling a century, he pushed to mid-off in an attempt to keep the strike. He could not beat Alviro Petersen’s throw, which only dislodged the bails, which is what is required to effect a run out.

Nathan Lyon is capable number 11, but there was not much he could do to keep out a Dean Elgar delivery that spat from a dead pitch. In all, Australia lost nine wickets for 90 runs mirroring their collapse against England at Chester-le-Street in August last year, where they lost nine wickets for 115 runs.

They could not see out two sessions. Once again Rogers scored a hundred that did not deliver a win for his country.

Before tea, it was all going swimmingly for Australia, having scored 110 in the afternoon session for the loss of one wicket.

But the David Warner wicket was the small opening that the Proteas needed. They kicked the door down to such an extent that the only hope Australia had was that of saving the game. And to think that at tea, the visitors entertained thoughts of a world record chase.

They were in a position to do so after the strong start but when Alex Doolan was caught at first slip by Graeme Smith off Morne Morkel, the door opened ever so slightly.

When Michael Clarke edged Steyn to Faf du Plessis at third slip, the door was open with the latch still intact but when Steven Smith was trapped in front first ball off the next Steyn delivery, the door had been kicked down and Australia were well and truly staring at the possibility of defeat.

Haddin had his middle stump knocked out of the ground for the second innings running and Mitchell Johnson needed a review to be given out leg before wicket.

From 126/1, Australia slumped to 197/7 and the game could have ended before stumps. There was more drama to come, including Rogers’ dismissal.

His patient 192-ball 100 staved off defeat and kept Australia afloat. He survived on 107 when De Villiers shelled a difficult leg-side catch off Morkel in what should have been the second last over of the day.

Ryan Harris at the other end was doing his level best to keep Dale Steyn at bay but even he failed, trapped in front by a wickedly inswinging delivery.

The third and final test match starts in Cape Town on Saturday.

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