Australia skipper Steve Smith said his batsmen couldn’t handle the pressure of dealing with the Proteas’ pace trio.
It took excellent batting efforts from Quinton de Kock (104) and Temba Bavuma (74) to get the Proteas to 326 all out, and that proved enough to help the Proteas to an innings victory.
The show belonged to the bowlers however, as Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada and Kyle Abbott took all 20 wickets between them to bowl the Aussies out for 85 and 161.
The 85 Australia posted was their third-worst ever against the Proteas, and the two innings combined marked their worst match total since World War II.
Philander took 5-21 in the first innings, and it was his first five-wicket haul since February 2013. Abbott meanwhile took match figures of 9-113 to earn the Man of the Match accolades, and Rabada cleaned things up in the second innings with 4-34.
‘Philander, Abbott and Rabada are world-class,’ said Smith at the post-match press conference. ‘They hit the top of off, seam it both ways and don’t give you any freebies.
‘We’re just getting put under a lot of pressure by the South Africans. They’re bowling some terrific spells.’
While Smith took time to reserve praise for the pace trio, he was critical of his own players for not stepping up to the task.
‘They’re not giving us anything to score and they’re challenging our defences. Our defences aren’t standing up to it and the pressures that they’re building so we’ve got to be a lot better,’ he said.
‘It wasn’t easy, it was tough, but you’ve got to find a way and get stuck in.
‘Our bowlers have to be more disciplined. We bowled good in good areas but we would let them off one ball an over. That’s what the South Africans didn’t do and it’s tough to play against.’
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