Australia beat South Africa inside two days in a remarkable opening Test of the three-match series at the Gabba in Brisbane.
Having bowled South Africa out for 99 in their second innings after Pat Cummins took 5-42, Australia knocked off the 34 runs required for victory off just eight overs but it came at the cost of four wickets.
The small chase still left enough time for Australia to lose openers David Warner and Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith and Travis Head, with South Africa’s wayward bouncers contributing 19 runs to the chase to comfortably out-score any Australian batter.
While the Australian bowlers should be applauded for their superb lines and lengths throughout the two days’ play, the pitch certainly played its role in events.
Only two batters scored more than 38 in the match – Head with 92 for Australia and Kyle Verreynne with 64 for South Africa in their respective first innings.
“Very interesting, let’s leave it at that,” Mitchell Starc told Fox Sports of the rapid victory.
The series opener is also just the second two-day Test to take place in Australia, after a victory over West Indies in 1931, and the second-shortest by balls, after the fifth Test against the South Africans at the MCG in 1932.
The next game is the Boxing Day Test at the MCG, which last year failed to make it to lunch on day three, as Australia dismissed England for 68 to win by an innings and 14 runs.
Story Credit: rnz.co.nz