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Australia beat South Africa in Durban

Australia wrap up win in Durban to go 1-0 up against South Africa

SA v Aus, 1st Test, report

Josh Hazlewood took the final wicket on the morning of day five to wrap up a 118-run victory over South Africa in Durban and take a 1-0 series lead.


It took a little longer than expected and it came in a fashion perhaps not expected, but Australia did indeed wrap up a deserved 118-run victory in the first Test against South Africa in Durban on the morning of day five.

South Africa were teetering on the brink at 293/9 overnight and after an evening of spin Quinton de Kock and Morne Morkel knew they would be starting their Monday morning by facing a barrage of quick bowling.

As it happened it wasn't Mitchell Starc ripping out No.11 Morkel's stumps that brought about victory. The Australian left-arm paceman was left without a 10-wicket haul as instead Josh Hazlewood did the damage, trapping de Kock lbw for 83 as the wicket-keeper batsman looked for a big shot.

Josh Hazlewood pinned Quinton de Kock lbw to seal the victory
Josh Hazlewood pinned Quinton de Kock lbw to seal the victory

It meant South Africa finished on 298 and Starc, who also missed out on a hat-trick from the first ball of the morning, finished with match figures of 9/109 and not a second Test 10-for. Not that he will have minded too much with the Player of the Match award going his way.

South Africa had battled hard to even reach the final day of this Test match, with Aiden Markram's wonderful 143 providing the backbone that the hosts batting has lacked of late. His determination and skill dragged his side into day five, but the damage had already been done in the first innings when the hosts were bowled out for 162.

Quinton de Kock and Morne Morkel held on for 75 balls together before Hazlewood struck
Quinton de Kock and Morne Morkel held on for 75 balls together before Hazlewood struck

From there on in it was always likely to end one way, but credit goes to South Africa for making it as difficult as possible for a rampant Australian bowling attack. Somewhat surprisingly, given the turning nature of the pitch, off-spinner Nathan Lyon went wicketless in the second innings, bowling 32 overs for figures of 0/86, but luckily for Australia they have a multi-faceted attack.

After Mitchell Marsh and Tim Paine had combined to claim the prize wicket of Markram, it was Starc who brought out his favourite party trick, ripping through the lower order with high-class and high-speed reverse-swing.

Poor light on Sunday evening meant Lyon and captain Steve Smith had to search for the final wicket through spin bowling as South Africa prolonged the game. But returning on a bright and fresh morning de Kock and Morkel could not produce any more heroics.

Australia will take their 1-0 lead to Port Elizabeth on Friday where South Africa will look to fight back in the four-match series.

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