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Australia vs South Africa, 1st Test Day 2: Australia beat South Africa by 6 wickets

Australia's Travis Head made 92 against South Africa
Australia's Travis Head made 92 against South Africa

In an extraordinary day’s play, where 19 wickets fell, Australia came out on top in the 1st Test against South Africa, at the GABBA, winning by 6 wickets.

Match Summary

Australia vs South Africa, 1st Test, South Africa tour of Australia

Australia 218/10 (50.3 ov) & 35/4 (7.5 ov)

South Africa 152/10 (48.2 ov) & 99/10 (37.4 ov)

Australia won by 6 wickets


Match Report

Australia captain Pat Cummins spearheaded a pace barrage that tore through South Africa before his side chased down a target of 34 runs Sunday to claim a six-wicket win inside two days on a hostile Gabba pitch. 

After finishing their first innings 66 runs in front midway through the first session Sunday, Australia dismissed the visitors for just 99 despite a fighting 36 not out from Khaya Zondo.

But the Australians then lost four cheap wickets in the chase as paceman Kagiso Rabada ran amok, with Usman Khawaja, David Warner, Steve Smith and Travis Head all falling to catches behind the wicket.

However, Marnus Labuschagne and Cameron Green -- aided by 15 extras -- guided Australia home to give them a 1-0 lead in the three-match series on a day when 19 wickets fell.

"Tricky wicket. I thought the way Head and Smith batted (in the first innings) got us to this winning position," said Australia captain Pat Cummins.

Man of the match Head added: "Very difficult wicket, plenty for the bowlers. We saw that the whole game. Nice to be able to contribute and get a win."

Despite the victory, Australian selectors will be concerned with Warner's form after yet another failure.

Warner is due to play his 100th Test in Melbourne on Boxing Day without scoring a century in almost three years, as calls for him to be dropped grow louder.

The two teams went into the series both boasting high-quality bowling attacks, but Australia's batting always looked stronger.

And on a green Gabba wicket, South Africa's frailties at the top of the order were brutally exposed.

"Another 60 runs and we would have been in the game. Pretty spicy wicket, bowlers were licking their lips," said South Africa skipper Dean Elgar. 

"I don't think we could prepare any better. Conditions weren't in favour for the batters."

South Africa slumped to 27-4 in the first innings and 5-3 in the second, positions from which they never recovered.

While the Australians also struggled at times, Head's superb 92 from 96 balls proved the difference between the two teams.

Australia started the day at 145-7 and South Africa did well to restrict them to 218, a lead of 66.

But the South African batsmen never looked up to the task of setting Australia a competitive total after slumping to 3-2 at lunch.


- Stop the rot -

Although Temba Bavuma and Zondo tried to launch a recovery in the middle session, they continued to lose wickets in clumps to a rampant Australian bowling attack.

Cummins, who finished with 5-42, started the second innings rot when he trapped his South African counterpart Dean Elgar lbw for two in just the second over.

Mitchell Starc then took the 300th wicket of his career when he bowled Rassie van der Dussen for a duck.

South Africa limped to lunch but Cummins struck again soon after the resumption when Sarel Erwee got a top edge to gully where the two-metre-tall Green leapt high to pull in a superb catch.

With South Africa staggering at 5-3, Bavuma and Zondo survived a torrid examination from Cummins, Starc and Scott Boland before slowly starting to chip away at the deficit.

Bavuma reached 29 before playing back to off-spinner Nathan Lyon to leave South Africa 47-4.

Boland then had first innings top-scorer Kyle Verreynne caught at second slip before bowling Maro Jansen two balls later to leave South Africa 48-6, still 18 runs from making Australia bat again.

Keshav Maharaj hit out to make a quickfire 16 before edging Starc to be caught behind, before Zondo and Rabada survived to the tea break.

But wickets fell quickly after the break with Cummins particularly dangerous with his impeccable line and length.

Match Stats

1st Innings South Africa Fall of wickets: 1-12 (Dean Elgar - 4.1 ov), 2-27 (Rassie van der Dussen - 9.1 ov), 3-27 (Sarel Erwee - 10.4 ov), 4-27 (Khaya Zondo - 10.6 ov), 5-125 (Temba Bavuma - 34.3 ov), 6-132 (Marco Jansen - 39.5 ov), 7-135 (Keshav Maharaj - 40.6 ov), 8-139 (Kyle Verreynne - 41.6 ov), 9-145 (Anrich Nortje - 45.1 ov), 10-152 (Lungi Ngidi - 48.2 ov)

1st Innings Australia Fall of wickets: 1-0 (David Warner - 0.1 ov), 2-18 (Marnus Labuschagne - 8.1 ov), 3-27 (Usman Khawaja - 9.2 ov), 4-144 (Steven Smith - 32.2 ov), 5-145 (Scott Boland - 33.1 ov), 6-181 (Cameron Green - 39.2 ov), 7-182 (Travis Head - 39.4 ov), 8-213 (Mitchell Starc - 47.6 ov), 9-214 (Pat Cummins - 48.5 ov), 10-218 (Nathan Lyon - 50.3 ov)

2nd Innings South Africa Fall of wickets: 1-2 (Dean Elgar - 1.4 ov), 2-3 (Rassie van der Dussen - 2.5 ov), 3-5 (Sarel Erwee - 7.2 ov), 4-47 (Temba Bavuma - 23.5 ov), 5-48 (Kyle Verreynne - 24.2 ov), 6-48 (Marco Jansen - 24.4 ov), 7-64 (Keshav Maharaj - 28.5 ov), 8-69 (Kagiso Rabada - 31.5 ov), 9-69 (Anrich Nortje - 31.6 ov), 10-99 (Lungi Ngidi - 37.4 ov)

2nd Innings Australia Fall of wickets:1-8 (Usman Khawaja - 2.6 ov), 2-9 (David Warner - 4.4 ov), 3-19 (Steven Smith - 6.3 ov), 4-24 (Travis Head - 6.4 ov)

Playing XIs

Australia: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (WK), Pat Cummins (C), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland

South Africa: Dean Elgar (C), Sarel Erwee, Rassie van der Dussen, Temba Bavuma, Khaya Zondo, Kyle Verreynne (WK), Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi


Match Details:

Date: Saturday, December 17, 2022 00:20

Venue: The Gabba, Brisbane

Toss: Australia won the toss & elected to field

Officials Umpires: Chris Gaffaney (New Zealand) Rod Tucker (Australia) Richard Kettleborough (England TV)

Match Referee: Richie Richardson (West Indies)

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