On Tuesday, Wanderers Stadium saw a match that would make a mark in the history of test cricket with South Africa finally ending their long-standing curse against Australia, with a 3 – 1 win in a four-match home test series.
After 1970, this was their first victory against the Australians on their home turf. (Johannesburg)
They ended the final match with a spectacular total of 492 runs, their highest score in Test cricket. Crushed by a target of 612 runs to win, Australia was unable to rise to the challenge, finally concluding the controversial series with a meager 119 runs – all out. The win was achieved by five centuries and their above-par bowling taking all the players out by the 46th over. South Africa Captain, Faf du Plessis, said, “This means a lot to us, and I believe this is the best we have been right through a series. Credit to everyone that played their part, at various times a lot of guys put their hands up.”
Plessis led his team with a staggering score of 120 runs, supported by his opener Dean Elgar who scored 81 runs in the second innings.
However, this was no easy feat for South Africa, which makes it all the more appreciable. “In the first three tests, there was a reverse swing with incredible skill and pace that we had to front up to. This last test match there was a lot of seam movement.”, Du Plessis said.
This win has great significance not only to South Africa but also to cricket fans all over the world, especially after the trying few weeks. With one cricket controversy to another, the hosting team handled it with grace.
Philander was named ‘Man of the Match’ for his bowling performance and Kagiso Rabada was titled ‘Player of the Series’.