South Africa fought hard Australia to a draw in Sydney Test!

This result has cleared all obstacles for Australia to qualify for World Test Championship final and India could be joining them, post the Home Test Series, against them.

Australia win the Test Series by 2-0 against South Africa
Australia win the Test Series by 2-0 against South Africa

Australia have put South Africa batsmen to task on final day of rain affected Sydney Test. Both the teams have lost almost two and a half days to rain, figuratively. Australia scored 475/4 in 131 overs with Usman Khawaja top scoring after he scored 195 runs. Steven Smith (104) scored his 30th century, Marnus Labuschagne (79) and Travis Head (70) chipped in against South Africa. Pat Cummins, Australia captain, declared the innings in favour of pushing for a result.

Australia had to take 14 wickets in one day to win after imposing follow-on on South Africa. Simon Harmer and Keshav Maharaj have come together after South Africa have been reduced to 167/7, on 5th day, as they ended 4th day with 149/6. Both of them frustrated Australia bowlers for 26.4 overs and put on 85-run partnership.

Simon Harmer and Keshav Maharaj put a great partnership against Australia
Simon Harmer and Keshav Maharaj put a great partnership against Australia

Simon Harmer scored 47 (165) runs and Keshav Maharaj scored 53 (81) runs while Josh Hazlewood got them out in quick time. Australia bowlers Josh Hazlewood (4/48), Pat Cummins (3/60), Nathan Lyon (2/88), Travis Head (1/21) took wickets. Travis Head surprised everyone when he got Marco Jansen (11). Australia imposed follow-on as South Africa got out at 255 from 108 overs with 220 runs deficit.

South Africa openers Sarel Erwee and Dean Elgar decided to try and bat out a whole day. But Captain Dean Elgar (10) fell to opposite number Pat Cummins. Heinrich Klaasen scored 35 runs off 61 balls putting a partnership with Sarel Erwee for 18.5 overs and frustrating Australia bowlers further. Temba Bavuma scored 17 runs off 42 balls joining Sarel Erwee who scored 42 runs off 125 balls to save the day for South Africa batting for 15 overs. Pat Cummins (1/16), Josh Hazlewood (1/9) took wickets and bowled well but couldn’t force another wicket.

Sarel Erwee saved the day for South Africa against Australia
Sarel Erwee saved the day for South Africa against Australia

David Warner has been named as Player of the Series for his consistency for Australia and he said, “It was a fantastic performance by the whole team. Each individual had their own performances. We would have all liked to bat a bit more. But credit to our bowlers. Our bowlers were fantastic. It didn’t go our way. Hopefully this Sydney weather is better next year.”

Australia Captain Pat Cummins expressed satisfaction over winning the series 2-0. He said, “The wicket was still pretty good. We knew we were up against it. Keep putting some balls in some good areas, hopefully the luck turned. But that wasn’t the case, they batted beautifully. We were probably up against it. We had 150 overs to try and take 20 wickets on a pretty good batting surface. Really proud of all the efforts. I thought Nathan Lyon was outstanding. He bowled close to 60 overs for less rewards than he deserved. I think the most pleasing thing is similar to last year’s Ashes, everyone contributing. I’m really happy with how everyone is travelling. I think everyone can hold their heads up high.” This result has cleared all obstacles for Australia to qualify for World Test Championship final and India could be joining them, post the Home Test Series, against them.

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