Australia thrash South Africa by 182 runs to take series


Australia thrashed South Africa by an innings and 182 runs in the second Test to win the series with a game to spare.

Resuming on 15-1, South Africa were bowled out for 204 before tea on the fourth day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Off-spinner Nathan Lyon claimed 3-58, including Temba Bavuma for 65, while Khaya Zondo and Keshav Maharaj were needlessly run out.

The final Test in Sydney starts on January 3.

Australia, who won the first Test inside two days, extended their lead over India at the top of the World Test Championship table. South Africa, who began the series in second, are now fourth.

Australia captain Pat Cummins described his side, who have won seven of their 11 Tests in 2022, as “probably the best test team I’ve played in”.

“In terms of captaining, I don’t feel like I have to do much at all,” he said. “Everyone looks after themselves. You just kind of make sure the buses are on time, which the team manager does.

“It’s just in a really sweet spot at the moment. We can just sit back and appreciate the place that we are in because it’s really special. We’re having a hell of a lot of fun as well doing it together with some of our best mates.”

South Africa captain Dean Elgar said: “That was bit of a hammering. It is not easy at the moment.

“We’re playing for the badge; we’re playing for the pride of our team. I’m sure there’s a lot of guys hurting.”

Australia’s victory at the MCG was all but certain after they posted a mammoth 575-8 declared – featuring 200 from David Warner and Alex Carey’s 111 – in reply to South Africa’s 189.

Although the tourists avoided an eighth successive total of less than 200, they never looked likely to take the game into a fifth day.

Bavuma was the only batter to make more than 33 as Scott Boland claimed 2-49 on his home ground and Cummins, who removed Elgar on the third evening, conceded only 20 runs from 16 overs and reviewed two decisions that were overturned by the TV umpire.

Part-time leg-spinner Steve Smith sealed victory in the Shane Warne Test by bowling Lungi Ngidi.

Pace bowler Mitchell Starc, who bowled 18 overs in the second innings despite dislocating a finger on the opening day, will miss the third Test.

All-rounder Cameron Green, who took 5-27 in the first innings and broke a finger during his unbeaten 51, has also been ruled out. (BBC Sport)

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