The third test between South Africa and Australia gets underway in Cape Town on Thursday and the series is now locked up at 1-1 with two to play.
Australia drew first blood in this 4 match series with a 118 run win at Durban and on the back of that they started as odds on favourites to go 2-0 up when the teams met in the second test in Port Elizabeth. However, the Proteas hit back to square things up with a 6 wicket win thanks largely to a couple of outstanding individual performances with bat and ball.
Australia made 243 batting first at St. Georges with Rabada taking 5 wickets. The Proteas then took control with a first innings total of 382 with AB de Villiers top scoring with a brilliant unbeaten 126. Australia’s second innings closed on 239 with Rabada taking another 6 wickets (11 in total) and although the Proteas lost 4 wickets chasing 101 for victory, the hosts were full value for a comfortable win.
The game continued to make headlines after the result with Rabada picking up de-merit points that would have ruled him out of the remainder of the series. That decision was appealed and on Tuesday morning he was cleared to play. Chris Morris and Duanne Olivier have subsequently been called into the Proteas squad.
As far as the Australian team news is concerned Mitchell Starc has been battling a calf injury
Leading Series Run Scorers
AB deVilliers 225 (4 innings)
Markram 207 (4 innings)
Warner 155 (4 innings)
Mitch Marsh 151 (4 innings)
Steve Smith 130 (4 innings)
Leading Series Wicket Takers
The Venue, Newlands, Cape Town
The most recent head to head between the sides at Newlands came in 2014 and Australia won it by 245 runs with David Warner scoring a century in both innings. That was a very rare defeat for the Proteas in a test match in Cape Town and since then they have won 3 and drawn 1 at this venue.
South Africa 14/10
I’ll look to the Australian top bat market and go with Warner as a form horse at Newlands and additional interest come in the shape of AB de Villiers to score a 50 in the Proteas first innings.
Bet: Top Australian batsman, 1st innings, Warner at 7/2
Batsman to score a Fifty in 1st Innings AB de Villiers? (yes) evens