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Nerves of steel: Aussie tail wags

cricket Updated: Nov 21, 2011 23:21 IST
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Beleaguered Australians Brad Haddin and Mitchell Johnson helped steer their team to a dramatic two-wicket victory in the second test to level a memorable series against South Africa on Monday.

Australia were chasing 310 for victory on the final day at and had slipped to 215 for six when Haddin and Johnson, whose places in the team have been questioned in the media, added 72 off 81 balls to take Australia to the verge of victory.

Haddin scored 55 and was dismissed 23 runs shy of the target, quickly followed by Peter Siddle for four as South Africa fought back with all four results still possible in fading light at the Wanderers.

But 18-year-old Pat Cummins, who had taken six wickets in South Africa's second innings, completed a dream debut by scoring 13 not out and hitting the winning runs as he pulled leg-spinner Imran Tahir over the infield for four.

"Mitch asked me to keep a cool head, and I took that for swinging," man-of-the-match Cummins said.

Johnson finished on 40 not out, a commanding innings that came off just 47 balls and included six fours.

Seamer Vernon Philander had earlier made his mark with five wickets, but South Africa captain Graeme Smith replaced him with Tahir for what proved to be the final over.

No play was possible in Monday's first session because of rain, meaning the stands were largely empty for the tense finale.

South Africa won the first test of the two-match series in Cape Town where Australia were bowled out for just 47 in another enthralling encounter.

Ragged bowling
Philander, playing in just his second test, struck in the fourth over of the day when he bowled Australian captain Michael Clarke for two with a fine delivery that nipped back in through the gate.

Morne Morkel claimed the wicket of Ricky Ponting for 62 when Australia's leading run-scorer tried to cut a short delivery outside off stump and edged it into the slips, having survived for over three-and-a-half hours in a much needed and fighting innings that could prolong the embattled former captain's career.