South Africa’s spirited resistance in the second innings lasted just 22 balls on the final day as Josh Hazlewood pinned Quinton de Kock to the crease to give Australia a 1-0 lead in the four-match series.
In a highly entertaining Test which had its fair share of drama, we look at the key talking points.
WARNER’S UGLY SPAT WITH DE KOCK
Although the fifth day lasted only 22 balls, Australia’s win was overshadowed by controversy when leaked CCTV footage showed David Warner having to be physically restrained by his team-mates in an argument against South Africa wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock. The incident had taken place during tea on the fourth day when de Kock and Aiden Markram were forming a solid partnership.
The fracas is reported to have spilled over from the South African taking a jibe at Warner’s wife but the hosts’ camp have responded by stating that it was the Aussie who first got personal. Steve Smith played down the incident in the post-match press conference but the confrontation could very much set the tone for the rest of the series.
— Adam Gilchrist (@gilly381) March 5, 2018
LYON CHARGED OVER RUN-OUT SEND OFF
The Warner-de Kock incident was not the only one to steal the limelight from Australia’s win with off-spinner Nathan Lyon being charged guilty of a Level 1 breach by the ICC for his send-off to AB de Villiers after running him out.
Lyon dropped the ball on the Proteas batsman’s chest after removing the bails with de Villiers stranded on the ground after putting in a dive. The Aussie could be fined 50 per cent of his match fee along with being given two demerit points which could put him on thin ice. Another two demerit points on top of it in the future could see the spinner being suspended for a Test.
Nathan Lyon might really have dropped the ball when he dropped the ball.
— Daniel Cherny 📰 (@DanielCherny) March 4, 2018
DE KOCK FORM A BRIGHT SPOT FOR PROTEAS IN LOSS
While his ugly spat with Warner will dominate headlines for the coming days, De Kock’s return to form will be a massive boost to the hosts despite the humbling result. Along with Aiden Markram’s splendid showing, the wicketkeeper-batsman’s well made 83 will be one of the few positives Faf du Plessis’ men can take from the Durban defeat.
He was woefully out of touch when India came visiting before being ruled out of the limited-overs matches due to an injury. Heinrich Klaasen’s performances in those clashes as the replacement wicket-keeper seems to have lit a fire in De Kock with his place in the side no longer a guarantee. The hosts will now hope that the 25-year-old can keep up the form in the three Tests to come.
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