Monday 21 November 2011 

Australia Inch To Dramatic Series-Levelling Victory

Australia Inch To Dramatic Series-Levelling Victory
Australia Inch To Dramatic Series-Levelling Victory
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

Australia 296 & 310-8 (Khawaja 65) beat
South Africa 266 & 339 (Amla 105) by 2 wickets
Second Test, Johannesburg
| | Day Two | Day Three | Day Four
Clarke / Pattinson Audio

Brad Haddin shared half-century partnerships with Michael Hussey and Mitchell Johnson before debutant Patrick Cummins hit the winning runs to edge Australia to a series-squaring two-wicket win over South Africa on the last day of the second and final Test in Johannesburg.

Haddin's ninth half-century - and third against South Africa - ensured Australia were able to hit back following a five-wicket defeat in the opening Test as they closed on 310 for eight.

Haddin made 55 while Hussey made 39 and Johnson was unbeaten on 40 with Cummins hitting a vital 13 not out in 15 balls.

With Australia at 142 for three overnight, South Africa began the day looking good and quickly got a breakthrough when Vernon Philander, who was outstanding on the final day, bowled Michael Clarke for two with a delivery that the Australian captain had no answer to.

His predecessor, Ricky Ponting, struggled to make progress as South Africa bowled a disciplined line outside off stump and gave him nothing to work with.

Eventually it reaped the dividend of his wicket when he uncharacteristically flashed outside off stump and was caught by Jacques Rudolph at second slip off Morne Morkel having made 62.

Hussey and Haddin then calmly added exactly 50 runs for the sixth wicket to bring Australia within 100 runs of victory before Hussey was trapped in front by the irrepressible Philander (5-70).

Haddin then reached his second half-century at the ground and played some crisp drives straight down the ground and through the covers in hitting five fours before opting to go for one shot too many and give Philander his fifth wicket as a thin edge carried to Mark Boucher behind the stumps.

A hobbling Johnson was joined at the crease by a nervy Peter Siddle, who nevertheless managed to flick Dale Steyn for four through midwicket for four and ease Australian nerves but he failed to see out the over, chipping the fired-up paceman straight into the hands of Imran Tahir at short midwicket.

James Pattinson looked more comfortable before he gave Steyn a half-chance off his own bowling which the bowler just failed to grab and as the ball raced to the boundary it proved a huge slice of luck for Australia.

South Africa rolled the die one last time and Graeme Smith threw the ball to Tahir with just five runs required. A huge leg-before decision against Cummins was turned down and after the review upheld Ian Gould's decision Cummins pulled Tahir through midwicket for the winning boundary.

The shot completed quite an introduction to Test cricket for the 18-year-old after he had taken a five-wicket haul to keep his side in the game when South Africa were bowled out for 339 in their second innings.

© Cricket World 2011