SOUTH AFRICA VS AUSTRALIA Tests is one series the cricket romantics look forward to, it is always used to be a series of National Pride from highly skilled, Gutsy committed players giving it all to their passionate fans.
First Test-Day 1, On the bright sunny morning at Durban, the Visitors won the Toss and elected to Bat first. The Aussies lost two early wickets to start off, Then came the best Test batsman in the world, Steve Smith, to join Warner in the middle. Both went on to score half-centuries to steady the ship but they didn’t run away with it. The determined and admirable bowling from the Proteas saw the day 1 ended with Australia on 225 for 5.
Day 2 started with Mitchell March and Tim Paine at the crease, Paine got out early nicking one behind off Rabada but Marsh played a wonderful knock with the tail only to miss out a well deserved century trying to hit a boundary over mid-on he was unlucky to find the tall Morne Morkel on 96. And not to forget brash little cameo from Starc of 35 off 25 balls taking the Aussies over 350 mark. Keshav Maharaj was brilliant with the ball and earned his 5-fer. South Africa in reply had a disappointing start losing Dean Elgar and Hasim Amla early to the Spinner Nathen Lyon in his very first over. This opened up South Africa’s order for the Pace men and the exquisite display of left-arm pace bowling from Starc saw him ran through the lower order and finished with 5 for 34. only AB Villiers looked like fighting a battle.The lone warrior who ran out of partners made 71 not out. The South African scoreline read 162 in reply to Australia’s 351. Thanks to the Spin Nathan Lyon and reverse swing of M. Starc.
By the end of Day 3, Australia’s lead mounted at 402 runs with 213 for 9 at Stumps in their second Innings. Bancroft to save his spot in the side brought out a fighting half-century.
On the fourth day morning, Australia set a huge target of 417 to win. Once again South African collapsed to 49 for 4. Pat Cummins hitting the top of off stump to remove South Africa was the sight of the day for cricket romantics probably the ball of the match and most beautiful sight for any fast bowler.Then came the Markram master class, his innings had written class all over it, He showed Excellent character to stand up and fight against all the Odds, the youngster showed his mates how it’s done, the Shear determination to take up the challenge against a quality Australian attack. This Knock of 143 is right up there with Kohli’s fourth innings century at Adelaide, One of the best you will ever see. Both deserved to be on the winning side but unfortunately, it didn’t happen for Kohli and didn’t happen for Markram.The chance to dismiss Markram arrived through a determined spell from Marsh, as Gilly himself said that was a Sublime Catch by Tim Paine off Marsh standing up front. Then the floodgates opened up for Starc to remove the tail, Starc was on a hat-trick at the end of the days play and walks away with the Man of the Match award on the Fifth day morning. Australia Won by 118 runs.
In spite of all these gripping contest, it is sad that morning newspapers will be full of Warner- De Kock Spat.
We all know South Africa is a much better team than this, As AB de Villiers tweeted this ”This series will be the one to remember”. We all believe South Africa will come back strong.