The Australian cricket team has capped off a remarkable summer by defeating South Africa with only 27 balls to spare.In dramatic circumstances, a hobbling Ryan Harris took the Proteas’ final two wickets in the space of three balls. Captain Michael Clarke now has seven wins from Australia’s last eight tests and a thrilling 2-1 series victory.
Australia earned the win over the world’s top ranked team, grinding out a tense morning; the first 25 overs of the day produced only 24 runs.
An electrifying final session saw Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander frustrate Australia for 77 long minutes until tensions reached boiling point. Clarke exchanged heated words with Steyn after Philander successfully appealed against his dismissal after 124 overs.
With only five overs to play, Clarke looked to Harris to bowl his 25th over. It took him only three balls to remove Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, handing South Africa its first series loss in five years. The win also continues Australia’s 22-year unbeaten streak in South Africa.
“I thought I was done,” Harris said on Wednesday. “But when [Clarke] turned to me and said ‘can you give me three’ I wasn’t going to say no. All the pain I went through last night and the night before is all worth it now.”
Dave Warner was awarded man of the match for his twin centuries of 135 and 145.
Despite the loss, South Africa still stands on top of the world rankings, with Australia now second. – Luke Mahoney
Top photo from CA Digital Media’s Twitter page.