After one of the most controversial test matches in cricket history, South Africa won to take a 2-1 lead ahead of the final test starting on Friday in Johannesburg.
South Africa won in Durban by 322 runs after Australia lost 10 wickets for 50 in a session and Morne Morkel took 5 for 23 though of course the main story, Australia’s ball tampering and the subsequent suspension of captain Steve Smith for this final test is the main story
The Proteas ran roughshod over a deflated Australia on day four of the third Test at Newlands setting Australia a target of 430 before bowling them out for 107.
The day began with AB de Villiers and Quinton de Kock at the wicket looking to extend the overnight lead. De Villiers (63) fell but De Kock went past fifty as Vernon Philander joined him and took the attack to the Australians.
De Kock (65) nicked off to Pat Cummins but by that point the lead had grown to one that left Australia trying to save the game. Philander stroked his way to an unbeaten fifty as the tail gave way but not before pushing the score on to 373.
Australia’s reply, under pressure, started very well with two men very close to the ball tampering row, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft started solidly.
It was an error from the two openers that gifted the Proteas a breakthrough when a direct hit from Faf du Plessis ran out Bancroft (26). Warner (32) followed shortly after jabbing a wide one from Kagiso Rabada into the slips and the rot had set in.
Keshav Maharaj removed Usman Khawaja (1) and Shaun Marsh off successive deliveries to spark hope of wrapping the game up on day four. Steve Smith (7) looked a shadow of the man who gave England sleepless nights in the Ashes and his last act of the series was jabbing a short ball from Morne Morkel to Dean Elgar in the gully.
For Johannesburg it is difficult to see how Australia recover quickly with their captain banned and possibly more to follow and the South African pace men such as Morkel and Rabada matching Australia’s attack on wickets that have provided a fair contest between bat and ball.
Odds for the game are South Africa 4/7 Australia 3/1 and the draw 9/2 reflecting this. South Africa are likely to win.