Brilliant performances by Kagiso Rabada and AB de Villiers helped South Africa beat Australia by six wickets at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth to level the four-match Test series 1-1.
Rabada, who will most likely miss the rest of the series due to on-field disciplinary reasons, finished with figures of 11-150, while De Villiers scored a fantastic unbeaten 126 in the first innings that put South Africa in the lead.
De Villiers (28) scored quickly in the second innings and Hashim Amla (27) also made a valuable contribution as the Proteas reached their target of 101 with four wickets down, just over an hour into the second session on day four.
The home side began the second session on day four needing just 79 runs to win and had already lost the wicket of Dean Elgar, who was caught and bowled by Nathan Lyon just before lunch.
They soon lost their second wicket when Josh Hazlewood got the wicket of Aiden Markram, caught by Steve Smith at second slip, for 21.
That brought crowd favourite De Villiers to the crease, and he immediately showed his intent with a number of expansive shots. Hazlewood was punished when he bowled short to De Villiers, who hit him for four.
De Villiers hit another four off Lyon thanks to a mistake in the field by Hazlewood, and followed that with a six to get South Africa over the halfway mark. He continued to entertain with yet another four off Hazlewood.
At the other end, Amla scored a fortunate boundary when he got a leading edge off Pat Cummins over wicketkeeper Tim Paine for four.
Amla was eventually back in the stands when he was caught behind by Paine for 27 off the bowling of Cummins with just 20 more runs required for the win. It was Cummins’ 50th Test wicket.
Australia picked up another wicket soon after when De Villiers’ innings of 28 off 26 balls came to an end, caught by Cameron Bancroft off the bowling of Nathan Lyon.
Captain Faf du Plessis and Theunis de Bruyn then got South Africa over the line.
Australia 243 (1st innings): David Warner 63, Cameron Bancroft 38, Kagiso Rabada 5-96, Lungi Ngidi 3-51
South Africa 382 (1st innings): AB de Villiers 126*, Dean Elgar 57, Pat Cummins 3-79, Mitchell Marsh 2-26
Australia 239 (2nd innings): Usman Khawaja 75, Mitchell Marsh 45, Kagiso Rabada 6-54, Lungi Ngidi 2-24
South Africa 102-4 (2nd innings): AB de Villiers 28, Hashim Amla 27, Nathan Lyon 2-44, Pat Cummins 1-13
South Africa win by six wickets
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images