Aussies 1-0 up in South Africa following commanding Test victory
by Ken Edwards, 05 March 2018
After a determined first innings batting effort with starring roles from Mitchells’ Marsh and Starc, and excellent bowling, Australia won its sixth in 11 Tests against South Africa at Durban’s Kingsmead.
After destroying any hopes of resistance from the South African tailenders in the first innings, Mitchell Starc again ripped through the South Africa tail again late on Sunday evening.
Josh Hazlewood completed the Aussie 118 run win just 22 balls into the final fifth day morning, ending South African wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock’s defiant knock for 83, trapping him plumb LBW to begin the celebrations.
Total performance from Australia
The win was set up with a grinding and determined first innings batting display on a slower than usual and tacky Durban track. Whilst vice-captain and captain David Warner and Steven Smith both compiled first day half-centuries, it was the continued coming-of-age of an increasingly patient Mitchell Marsh that stole the limelight. Marsh fell an agonisingly 4 runs short of a third century in 4 matches since his return to the side in the Perth Ashes Test with a superb 96. If he had not picked out the 2-metre frame of Morne Morkel when trying to clear mid-on for a boundary to bring up his hundred, he may well have been Man of the Match.
Man of the Match goes to Mitchell Starc
Mitchell Starc provided the difference between the two sides and was deservedly named Man of the Match. Before even entering the bowling attack, Starc had already thumped 35 off 25 balls to change the momentum of the Australian first innings. His 9 wickets decimated the South African batting and in particular, his lightning fast 145 km/h-plus yorkers to the tail, turned the game.
As usual in recent times, all the bowlers played their part with Nathan Lyon, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood all taking wickets at crucial times throughout the match.
Australia go into the second test in Port Elizabeth as $1.40 favourites with Bet365 to win the series with South Africa now outsiders at $7.00.