CricketSports

Rabada takes centre stage as South Africa beat Australia

Rabada suspended for rest of Australia series

PORT ELIZABERTH: South Africa batsman Aiden Markram plays a shot during day four of the second Cricket Test match between South Africa and Australia at St Georgeís Park in Port Elizabeth, yesterday. — AFP

PORT ELIZABETH: Fast bowler Kagiso Rabada took 11 wickets in the match but may yet turn from hero to villain as South Africa beat Australia by six wickets in the second Test yesterday to level the four-match series.
South Africa made heavy work of reaching their modest target before captain Faf du Plessis (2) and Theunis de Bruyn (11) guided them to 102 for four. Rabada was suspended for two Test matches and will miss the rest of the series against Australia, hours after being named man of the match in his team’s six-wicket win yesterday.

Rabada was found guilty of a level two International Cricket Council (ICC) code of conduct offence of “inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with a player” after shoulder-charging Australia captain Steve Smith when he dismissed him in the first innings, an ICC statement said.

The 22-year-old Rabada, who took 11 wickets to help South Africa level the series 1-1, was fined 50 percent of his match fee and given three demerit points, which took him past the tally of eight that triggers an automatic suspension. Cricket South Africa said it was seeking legal counsel over a possible appeal.

“It’s a disappointment for the series because you want to have your best players in the series,” said captain Du Plessis, suggesting he already knew the outcome of the hearing which is due to be made public later.

The 22-year-old Rabada was the outstanding performer yesterday as he ripped through Australia, who started on 180-5 with a 41-run lead. He completed figures of 6-54 and a match aggregate of 11-150, the fourth time he has taken 10 or more wickets in a test.
“Australia were never going to give in easily so you had to go to the reserve tank and give of your best,” Rabada said after being named man-of-the-match.

UPROOTED STUMP
The tourists lost Mitchell Marsh (45) in the first over as Rabada uprooted his middle stump before Pat Cummins (5) was well caught in the gully by De Bruyn.

Rabada got his third in quick succession as Mitchell Starc (1) edged a drive to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock. Lungi Ngidi (2-24) had Nathan Lyon (5) caught by De Kock, before Tim Paine (28 not out) and Josh Hazlewood (17) added 28 for the final wicket as Australia were dismissed for 239.

South Africa lost wickets regularly with opener Dean Elgar (5) going cheaply to be followed after lunch by Aiden Markram (21), Hashim Amla (27) and AB de Villiers for 28.
“We were outplayed in all aspects,” Smith said. Australia won the first Test in Durban by 118 runs. The
final two matches in the series will be played in Cape Town and Johannesburg. – Agencies

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