Australia beats South Africa in 2nd Test to clinch series
Australia clinched the series and will be chasing a 3-0 sweep in Sydney where the third and final Test starts on Jan. 4.
Spinner Nathan Lyon took 3-58 as Australia bowled out South Africa for 204 Thursday to claim victory by an innings and 182 runs on the fourth day of the second test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Australia clinched the series and will be chasing a 3-0 sweep in Sydney where the third and final test starts on Jan. 4.
Tamba Bavuma top-scored for South Africa with 65, although he also played key roles in two run outs.
Resuming Thursday on 15-1, South Africa lost three wickets in the morning session.
Mitchell Starc, nursing a tendon injury to the blood-stained middle finger on his bowling hand, produced a fast yorker to remove Sarel Erwee lbw for 21 at 47-2.
Ten runs later, Scott Boland had Theunis de Bruyn (28) caught at second slip as cracks continued to appear in the Proteas’ brittle batting lineup.
Those cracks widened when Khaya Zondo was run out in demoralizing fashion for one at 65-4 after Bavuma pushed to mid-off and called Zondo through for a risky single.
Bavuma and Kyle Verreynne (33) fought hard to add 63 for the fourth wicket before Boland (2-49) removed Verreynne lbw at 128-5 in the fourth over after lunch. Marco Jansen (five) fell in the same fashion to spinner Nathan Lyon 16 runs later, following a video review.
Bavuma was involved in a second run out, theatrically turning his back on Keshav Muharaj (13) who was forced to give up on an attempted third run through cover and failed to regain his ground at the striker’s end at 174-7.
A wild slog from Bavuma was caught at mid-on in the following over as Lyon claimed his second victim of the innings and Kagiso Rabada (three) also skied an attempted slog, leading to his departure in Lyon’s next over at 177-9.
Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi entertained the crowd with some big hits as they added 27 for the last wicket, which fell before the tea break on day four.
Medium-pacer Cameron Green claimed a career-best 5-27 in South Africa’s first innings of 189. All-rounder Green also scored an unbeaten 51 in Australia’s reply of 575-8, retiring hurt for six with a broken right-index finger before returning to share a century partnership with wicketkeeper Alex Carey (111) for the eighth wicket.
Green has been ruled out of the third test.
Opener and man-of-the match David Warner, who scored 200 in his 100th test, along with half-centuries from Steve Smith (85) and Travis Head (51), gave Australia a solid foundation before the late-order heroics of Green and Carey allowed captain Pat Cummins to declare with a 386-run advantage on the first innings.
The victory was Australia’s first test series win at home against South Africa since 2005-06. The Proteas were triumphant in 2008-09, 2012-13 and 2016-17.
Starc took 1-62 off 18 overs in a lion-hearted performance and is expected to focus on being fit for Australia's test tour of India in February.