Rabada starred with the ball in the fourth day as well, as he ripped through the rest of the lower order of Australia in his morning spell. But disappointment for Rabada followed some hours after the match ended.
Australia 2nd Innings:
Australia had a slender lead of 41 and had lost their top five at the start of day 4. Thats when Rabada got the overnight batsman Mitchell Marsh bowled, with a searing inswinger. That wicket was very important as the tail-enders were next to bat.
He got the wicket of Pat Cummins soon, who tried to run down to third man but was caught superbly at gully by de Bryun. That was when Rabada completed his 4th 10 wicket haul in test cricket. Starc, the next man to the crease, edged a booming drive to de Kock, and the bowler was Rabada again.
Nathan Lyon was dismissed just like Starc when he edged a delivery from Ngidi to the keeper. Hazlewood tried attacking Maharaj, but after some effective heaves, was caught on the leg side boundary by Ngidi. Australia all out for 239 and South Africa needed 101 to win.
South Africa 2nd innings:
The South African innings started steadily. They saw off initial spells of duo of Starc and Hazlewood, but soon after that, Elgar drove a Nathan Lyon full delivery uppishly, and the bowler completed a smart catch. It was a carbon copy of his dismissal in first innings in Durban test.
Soon Markram went to a beautiful delivery by Hazlewood, edging to Steve Smith. de Villiers started where he left and with Amla, constructed a partnership worth 49 runs off 58 balls. Both of them fell when the score was 81.
With four down, few might have expected a more dramatic finish, but it was not to happen as Captain Faf and de Bruyn finished the match without any further hiccups, the later hitting the winning boundary to the covers.
Image: KG Rabada was adjudged the Man of the Match
Rabada, for his 11 wickets was adjudged the “Man of the Match”. The series is level at 1-1 as the scene now moves to Cape Town for the third test. But an important news was yet to be flashed.
In the official release by Match Referee Jeff Crowe, he adjuged Rabada’s on field shoulder brush with Steve Smith as “inappropriate and deliberate” earned him 3 demerit points.
Rabada accepted his level one offence of sending-off Warner and that added another demerit point against him. Rabada has total 9 demerit points as per now (he had 5 points prior to the series).
As Eight points are equivalent to two test suspension, Rabada is set to lose the remainder of the series. But if CSA contest Rabada’s appeal judicially, the ICC would need to appoint a commissioner and conduct a hearing before or during the third test. At that instant, Rabada should be let to play the third test, regardless of the decision of the judiciary.
South Africa (382 & 102/4) beat Australia (243 & 239) by 6 wickets.