Australia ammer South Africa to win 2nd Test and series


South Africa were on the wrong end of a “hammering” against rampant top-ranked Australia on Thursday, losing the second Test by 182 runs and with it the series. The loss capped a dismal first two Tests for the visitors who slumped by six wickets in the opener at Brisbane inside two days, with a potential face-saving third match at Sydney still to play.

“It is not easy at the moment. That was bit of a hammering,” Proteas skipper Dean Elgar said. Australia declared on Wednesday at 575-8 built on the back of man-of-the-match Warner’s 200 and a gutsy 85 from Steve Smith in searing heat, in reply to South Africa’s first innings 189, and then took complete control with the ball.

South Africa resumed day four on 15-1 after Elgar went for a duck before rain halted play early on Wednesday. But their resistance didn’t last long with three wickets falling before lunch at the Melbourne cricket Ground and the rest in the second session as they succumbed for 204.

Temba Bavuma top-scored with 65 while Nathan Lyon took 3-58 in a depleted, injury-hit, attack. “The win is right up there. We have had a number of great contests against South Africa over the years. It’s really sweet and something to be proud of,” said Australian skipper Pat Cummins.

“I thought how Warner and Smith batted in the heat was pretty gutsy. (Mitchell) Starc and (Cameron) Green as well, put their injuries behind them and turned up.” It leaves South Africa facing a trip to Sydney next week for the final Test with only pride to play for and potentially some changes to a batting line up that has largely failed to fire.

“We have got to do a lot of reflection going ahead once again.

There are a few positives coming out of this Test but not a lot,” Elgar said. “There’s lot to play for (in Sydney), South Africa are a proud cricketing nation and 2-1 sounds a lot better than 3-0,” he added.—INP