Home Sport Cricket Australia bulldoze Proteas in Melbourne to clinch series

Australia bulldoze Proteas in Melbourne to clinch series

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The second Test ended early on the fourth afternoon, and the manner of the capitulation was the most telling truth that the Proteas are in a state of crisis.

The Proteas lost their first ever Test series against Australia for the first time in 16 years. Photo: Joel Carrett/EPA

Second Test, Day 4, MCG

South Africa: 189 and 204

Australia: 575/8 declared

Result: Australia won by an innings and 182 runs, win the series 2-0

Zaahier Adams

Johannesburg – South Africa had not lost a Test series in Australia for 17 years. It was a truly remarkable record.

However, the overwhelming defeats in the last two matches – respectively by six wickets and a mammoth innings and 182 runs at the MCG on Thursday – that has seen them surrender this series gives the impression that it may take another 17 years before they win again Down Under.

The margin in the second Test, which ended early on the fourth afternoon, and the manner of the capitulation was the most telling truth that the Proteas are in a state of crisis.

Such is the dire circumstances this current group – particularly the batting unit – find themselves in is the fact that passing 200 for the first time in eight innings was a significant milestone. And only just too.

Vice-captain Temba Bavuma battled almost single-handedly for his 65, but was involved in the run-outs of both Khaya Zondo and Keshav Maharaj.

It is this state of panic that permeated throughout the South African innings after Sarel Erwee (21) was the first to depart in the morning to Mitchell Starc, who showed great courage to deliver 18 overs in the second innings with a blood-filled injured finger.

Theunis de Bruyn followed shortly for 28, edging Scott Boland to second slip, and from thereon it became a procession with only Kyle Verreynne (33) forming some form of a partnership with Bavuma.

Off-spinner Nathan Lyon was Australia’s most successful bowler with figures of 3/58, but it was almost a fitting tribute to the late Shane Warne, who was honoured during this Boxing Day Test, that the last South African wicket to fall was to Steve Smith’s leg spin.

In almost bizarre circumstances the Proteas can still qualify for the World Test Championship final if they win the final Test in Sydney next week, but at the moment that is almost as possible as South Africa going an entire day without load shedding.

@ZaahierAdams

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