x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Australia wrap up the first Test against South Africa

Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle skittle out the hosts to give Australia a 162 run victory at the Wanderers.

Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle claimed four and three wickets respectively as Australia wrapped up the first Test against South Africa at the Wanderers with a comfortable 162 run victory just after tea on day five. The home side had come into the final day confident of at least saving the game, but the tourists' ability to strike at regular intervals proved decisive as Graeme Smith's team were bundled out for 291 in pursuit of a record 454. Hashim Amla (57) and Jacques Kallis (45) were the only two batsmen to put up any real resistance today, and the dismissal of the Proteas' number three followed by that of AB de Villiers ended any hope of a draw, let alone victory.

In the end Johnson's three wickets on the final day, coupled with good support from the rest of his attack, helped Ricky Ponting's team move 1-0 up in the three-Test series. The hosts began the day well enough with the score at 178 for two as Amla and Kallis looked comfortable through the opening hour when they brought up the 50 partnership from the first delivery of the day. The Proteas' number three then reached his half-century in 103 balls when he capitalised on a Johnson half volley and drove him through the covers for four.

But seven runs later he perished when attempting to flick Siddle through the leg side ? his failure to keep the ball down proved his undoing as Phillip Hughes gathered a simple catch at short square-leg. De Villiers was next to follow when Billy Bowden sent him on his way after being trapped leg before wicket by Andrew McDonald for three. The batsman was not convinced though and asked for a referral, but his fate was confirmed by the TV umpire Asad Rauf, who eliminated any doubt the bowl was sliding down leg side. The new ball, which was expected to be crucial on the final day, was taken as soon as it became available and Johnson almost struck with the first delivery when Kallis was trapped low on his pads and given out leg before by Bowden.

Kallis also opted to go upstairs ? this time the decision proving a correct one as Rauf decided that ball pitched outside the line and reversed the initial call by the on-field umpire. But Kallis only lasted until Johnson's next over when he tried to drive a fuller delivery and instead succeeded in playing on for 45 as South Africa slumped to 247 for five at lunch. After the break JP Duminy was first to go when his attempts to fend off a Siddle bouncer saw the ball float easily to Ponting at second slip for 29. That ended a 39 run stand with Mark Boucher, who continued his resistance with Morne Morkel, but the latter threw his wicket away cheaply with an attempted pull shot off Mitchell Johnson that only flew high to Phillip Hughes at mid-on for two. The wicketkeeper Boucher was next to follow, this time off a fine Ben Hilfenhaus delivery that cut back off the pitch and cleaned up the stumps as Australia closed in on victory, which came eight deliveries after tea. Paul Harris was first to go, when he was caught at short-leg by Simon Katich off Siddle for eight, before Johnson bowled Dale Steyn for six to seal the win. The Australian strike bowler, who was the pick of the bowlers in the second innings with four for 114, was named man-of-the-match for his eight-wicket haul in the game, while he also made 96 not out with the bat. Siddle claimed three for 46 in the second innings, while Hilfenhaus picked up two for 68. The next Test begins in Durban on Friday. *PA Sport