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Day 5 of 5
Australia win by 245 runs

S Africa vs Australia

Australia leave it late to beat South Africa in Cape Town thriller

South African success for Aussies

Ryan Harris took the final two wickets as Australia won the three-Test series 2-1

Australia beat South Africa by 245 runs in the third Test at Cape Town after a gripping finish in the final session of the series.

Vernon Philander and Dale Steyn survived 14 overs with eight wickets down as the Proteas looked set to hold out and secure a draw in the match and series.

But with just 30 balls left in the day, Steyn was bowled by Ryan Harris and two balls later the paceman skittled Morne Morkel to launch jubilant celebrations amongs the relieved tourists.

South Africa started the final day on 71-4 and batted for 94 overs before the dramatic conclusion.

Philander (51no), Faf du Plessis (47), JP Duminy (43) and AB de Villiers (43) all batted bravely but could not save the Proteas from a first series defeat since Australia won by the same scoreline five years ago.

The match marked the international farewell of South Africa's captain Graeme Smith, who announced his retirement from international cricket after day three of the Test having played in 117 matches, a record 109 as skipper.

Just eight runs came off the bat in the first 10 overs of the day but eventually, Australia's persistence paid off as James Pattinson got Kyle Abbott with an absolute beauty. The ball pitched on a good length and then nipped back to clip the top of off stump to remove the nightwatchman for seven from 89 balls.

Faf du Plessis and De Villiers proceeded to see South Africa safely through the 13.5 overs until lunch with the minimum of fuss and the tourists took the new ball straight after the interval.

The presence of two specialist batsmen at the crease clearly gave the Proteas more freedom as they claimed three boundaries in the first four overs after lunch but it wasn't long before De Villiers succumbed to Harris.

The seamer had been hitting the right line and length since the break and eventually found the edge of De Villiers' bat as he nicked one behind.

It was the first time in 13 Tests that the batsman had not recorded a 50 but his 43 had taken up nearly five-and-a-half hours and 228 valuable deliveries to help his team to 136-6.

Digging in

The loss of the elder statesman once again slowed the run rate but the Proteas were digging in well with their middle-order pair carefully selecting the odd boundary.

Du Plessis and JP Duminy put on 37 for the seventh wicket before Steve Smith removed the former with the first ball of his fresh spell as the ball pitched on leg and hit the batsman plumb in front.

Du Plessis reviewed the decision but it looked to be more in hope than expectation as he exited for 47.

That brought Philander to the crease and he immediately set about upping the run rate, hitting the first six of the innings off Mitchell Johnson.

Duminy began to find the boundary with more regularity and the pair brought up their 50 partnership in just 63 balls.

The duo had put on 73 when some smart captaincy by Michael Clarke brought about the end of Duminy for 43.

Nathan Lyon was positioned at a fine leg-slip and when Johnson got one the cut across the batsman, Duminy's attempts to steer the ball round the corner went straight into the hands of the spinner.

That left the hosts 246-8 and controversy was to follow just four overs later as a brute of a ball from Johnson clattered into Philander who was caught at short leg with Aleem Dar adjudging the tailender to be out.

But the decision was overturned after a lengthy review with the third umpire seemingly deciding that Philander's glove was not on his bat when the ball hit his thumb.

When Philander brought up his 50 from 95 balls with a four, he and Steyn needed to ride out just 7.4 overs to complete their great escape and seal a series draw.

They survived two of them before Steyn (one) was gone to a brilliant yorker from Harris which brushed off stump and two balls later the veteran bowled Morkel to break South African hearts.

Match Details

1st - 5th Mar 2014
Australia won the toss and elected to bat.
A S Dar, H D P K Dharmasena
TV Umpire
R K Illingworth
Match Referee
R S Mahanama
Reserve Umpire
A T Holdstock


Batsman R
A.N. Petersen lbw Harris 9
G.C. Smith c Doolan b Johnson 3
D. Elgar b Johnson 0
H.M. Amla lbw Pattinson 41
A.B. de Villiers c Haddin b Harris 43
K.J. Abbott b Pattinson 7
F. du Plessis lbw Smith 47
J.P. Duminy c Lyon b Johnson 43
V.D. Philander Not out 51
D.W. Steyn b Harris 1
M. Morkel b Harris 0
Extras 5nb, 2w, 8b, 5lb 20
Total All Out, 134.3 Overs 265
Full Batting Card

australia BOWLING CARD

Bowler O M R W
R.J. Harris 24.3 15 32 4
M.G. Johnson 34 11 92 3
J.L. Pattinson 27 10 62 2
N.M. Lyon 22 17 10 0
S.R. Watson 9 6 6 0
S.P.D. Smith 13 3 43 1
M.J. Clarke 5 2 7 0
Full Bowling Card