Morne Morkel says his performance in the Proteas’ 322-run win at Newlands is the best moment in his career.
It was a decapitation as Australia were humiliated by the Proteas, who secured the convincing victory by the fourth day.
It started with the Proteas extending their lead to 429 thanks to fifties by Quinton de Kock (65) and Vernon Philander (52*) after they ended day three with a lead of 294.
Then came the slow slaughter from the Proteas bowlers. Morkel led the pack, taking 5-23 to end with match figures of 9-110, as 10 wickets tumbled in the final session for 50 runs.
Australia were skittled for 107 as the Proteas claimed a mammoth 322-run victory.
After finishing with career-best figures and his first ever nine-for, Morkel expressed his delight for his Man of the Match performance.
‘Today was very special. I tried to enjoy it as much as possible. The crowd is always amazing at Newlands. For me personally, this is the best venue to play Test cricket,’ said the lanky fast bowler who has announced he will be retiring from international cricket after this series.
‘Today is the highlight of my life. When I get asked again “what was the most memorable or special day?” it will definitely be today.’
Du Plessis piled on the praise for his teammate.
‘There’s a lot of good stuff that has been said over the last while about Morne,’ said Du Plessis. ‘Morne has been – for the first six-eight years of his career – the guy who went unnoticed. He was the workhorse. He got his two- or three-fors.
‘Only captains really appreciate the work that someone like Morne does. He is not the guy who gets the five-fors like Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada who get them on regular occasions.
‘Morne does the donkey work and runs in all day. He never says he’s bowled enough. You tell him that he’s bowled enough but still, he wants to bowl more. That’s a captain’s dream.
‘He’s going to be missed in our team. He’s been almost the mother-figure in the team with a big heart. We going to miss that. We understand his decision [to retire]. It’s a decision for his future and his family so he knows the team backs him up 100%. It’s great to see the fans are behind him and I reckon he is going to miss games like this.’
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