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De Villiers and Rabada deliver South Africa series levelling win against Australia

Chaitanya Halgekar



AB de Villiers

An incredibly aggressive century from AB de Villiers and sterling 11 wicket match haul by the man-of-the-match Kagiso Rabada resulted in South Africa’s massive six wickets win against Australia in the second Test at Port Elizabeth. With this win, the hosts have leveled the four-match Test series 1-1, making the remaining two Tests a huge attraction for cricket fans.

Australia began day four of the Test with five wickets down and a score of 180 runs. The visitors were trailing by 139 runs courtesy of AB de Villiers 22nd Test hundred. The South African batsman blasted 126 runs off 146 balls to allow South Africa gain a decisive lead in the first innings.

Australia’s all hopes of staging a comeback on the fourth day rested on the shoulders of Mitchell Marsh and Tim Paine. But in the fourth over of the day, Rabada castled Marsh and dented Australia’s hopes. Rabada then sent back Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc in his next consecutive overs to end Australia’s prospects of any fight back.

Paine added 28 runs for the last wicket with Josh Hazlewood before Hazlewood was caught by Ngidi on the bowling of Keshav Maharaj. But this effort was too little as Australia ended up with a paltry lead of only 100 runs.

South Africa’s chase started on a horrible note with Dean Elgar offering a return catch to Lyon on his own bowling in the sixth over of the innings. Ten runs later, Markram too perished on 21 runs as he was caught by Smith on Hazlewood’s bowling. South Africa at that stage were tottering at 32 for 2 wickets.

But then, AB de Villiers took control of the proceedings and played some delightful strokes. He brought out the reverse sweep against Lyon and produced a scintillating straight drive against Hazlewood. ABD’s aggressive yet skillful stroke play brought curtains on the game and he added 49 runs for the third wicket with Hashim Amla. Both these batsmen departed in the span of three balls. Amla scored 27 runs while de Villiers scored 28 runs.

Faf du Plessis and TB de Bruyn then finished the formalities and registered South Africa’s win on the fourth day itself.
The third Test of the series begins on March 22 at Cape Town.

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