The opening Cricket Test Series against Australia could not have been more nail-biting. South Africa had lost both Dale Steyn and AB de Villiers to injury and odds were definitely not in their favour.
However, according to experts, the match started slipping away from Australia on day two, when they lost 10 for 86, beginning with Steyn’s only wicket of the match. From that moment on South Africa won virtually every session of the Test without contributions from Steyn, de Villiers or number 2 batsman, Hashim Amla.
Enter the secret weapon. Kagiso Rabada. The fast-bowling phenomenon simply ran away with it, destroying Australia in the second innings with conventional swing, reverse swing, searing yorkers, pace, bounce and seam. He finished with 5 for 92, and seven wickets in the Test.
However, the rest of the Protea’s certainly rose to the occasion. Vernon Philander led in the first innings with 4 for 56, and added one more in the second. He also struck 73 with the bat. Keshav Maharaj claimed three first-innings wickets and the match-winning dismissal before tea on day five, and Dean Elgar, JP Duminy and Quinton de Kock all commanded the bat.
Australia began the final day on 4 for 169, with Khawaja and Mitchell Marsh at the crease, and it took only until the eighth over of the day for Rabada to break that stand. Both Marsh and Khawaja fell in rapid succession. Next to fall were Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle, Josh Hazelwood and Nathan Lyon, leaving only Nevill who remained unbeaten on 60 from 153 balls.
In the end South Africa won by 177 runs and will go to Hobart 1-0 up the series. It’s anyone’s guess as to what will happen there.
Current Betting odds
Australia to win: 22/10
South Africa to win: 24/10
Australia to win: TBC
South Africa to win: TBC
Australia to win: 11/2
South Africa to win: 11/20
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Please note betting odds quoted are correct at time of publication and are subject to change. View the latest SA versus Asutralia Cricket Test Series betting odds