Starc, Hazlewood swing Australia to 118-run win


Australia 351 (M Marsh 96, Smith 56, Warner 51, Maharaj 5-123, Philander 3-59) and 227 (Bancroft 53, Maharaj 4-102, Morkel 3-47) beat South Africa 162 (de Villiers 71*, Starc 5-34) and 298 (Markram 143, de Kock 83, Starc 4-75, Hazlewood 3-61) by 118 runs

Mitchell Starc missed out on a hat-trick but Australia had little trouble in wrapping up a 118-run win on the fifth morning in Durban, where they took a 1-0 lead in the four-match series. Bad light had halted Australia’s march to victory on the fourth evening with just one wicket required, so it was possible that it could have taken just a single ball to end the game on day five. In the end, it took 22 deliveries.

Josh Hazlewood confirmed the result by trapping Quinton de Kock lbw for 83 in the fourth over of the day, as South Africa were dismissed for 298. Morne Morkel finished not out on 3. Starc had been denied the chance to bowl for a hat-trick late on day four after he bowled Keshav Maharaj and Kagiso Rabada with what became his last two balls of the day, as the umpires declared that the light was sufficient only for spin bowling. He instead bowled for his hat-trick with the first ball of the fifth day and rapped de Kock on the pads, but the ball was sliding down leg.

The result gives Australia a good start as they aim to maintain their remarkable record of having not lost a Test series in South Africa since readmission. The teams now move on to Port Elizabeth for the second Test, which begins on Friday.

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