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Rediff.com  » Sports » Australia cruise to victory over SA

Australia cruise to victory over SA

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December 30, 2005 10:06 IST

Australia wrapped up a 184-run victory in the second Test against South Africa on Friday when leg spinner Stuart MacGill bowled last man Makhaya Ntini in the first over after lunch on the final day.

Dismissed for 181 in pursuit of an improbable winning target of 366, South Africa's Shaun Pollock put up stubborn resistance to stall Australia's charge and the all rounder finished unbeaten on 67 after Ntini was removed for two.

The win gives Australia a 1-0 lead in the three-match series and any chance the tourists had of saving the Test were dashed on Thursday afternoon when they were reduced to 99-6 by the close of play.

Mike Hussey was named man of the match after he scored 122 in Australia's first innings and combined with Glenn McGrath in an 107-run 10th wicket partnership that pushed the world champions to 355 on their first innings.

The Australians then bowled South Africa out for 311, giving them a 44-run lead before Matthew Hayden (137) and Andrew Symonds (72) combined for a brutal 124-run partnership in 66 minutes after lunch on Thursday that gave their side the necessary impetus to declare at 321 for seven.

South Africa made a cautious start to their second innings and after reaching 39 without loss, the tourists lost six wickets for 43 runs to leave themselves an almost impossible task of surviving the entire final day with just four wickets intact.

However, the home side's hopes of wrapping up the win before the interval on Friday were thwarted by Pollock, who combined aggression with intelligent stroke play to reach the lunch break on 66 not out, with his side on 180-9.

CONTROVERSIAL CATCH

Leading the attack, Shane Warne had figures of 4-74 and McGrath 3-44 as the pair combined to take the three wickets to fall in the morning.

Ashwell Prince, who had resumed on 16, was the junior partner in a 48-run partnership with Pollock before he was adjudged to have been caught by Matthew Hayden off Warne for 26.

Television replays, however, appeared to show the ball had bounced off his arm and was nowhere near his glove or bat when it ballooned away in front of Hayden who had to dive to catch it.

Nicky Boje also did his best to ensure the game did not end early on Friday with a watchful 13 off 38 balls before he played back to a McGrath delivery and chopped the ball onto his stumps to leave the visitors 166 for eight.

Andre Nel was the next man to go when he chased a wide delivery from McGrath and edged an easy catch to wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist for two.

Nel, whose competitive nature has made him both a crowd favourite and hate figure, was visibly angry with himself as he walked off.

The first Test in Perth ended in a draw and the third and final Test starts in Sydney on Monday.

Greg Stutchbury
Source:
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