Clinical South Africa thrash Australia in second Test

Hobart, Nov 15 (IANS) Inspired by a disciplined bowling effort, South Africa thrashed Australia by an innings and 80 runs to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-Test cricket series at the Bellerive Oval here on Tuesday.

Proteas pacer Kyle Abbot scalped six wickets in the hosts’ second essay as batting nightmares continued to haunt Australia, who were skittled out for a meagre 161.

Abbot was well supported by youngster Kagiso Rabada, who chipped in with four wickets as only three of the home batsmen — David Warner (45), Usman Khawaja (64) and skipper Steve Smith (31) — managed to reach the double figures.

Resuming the day at 121/2, Khawaja’s 121-ball resistance ended in the morning session when Abbot forced him to play an edge behind, which stumper Quinton de Kock grabbed with ease.

Khawaja’s dismissal brought Australia’s downfall, as the last eight Aussie wickets fell within a span of just 32 runs.

The two sides will now head to Adelaide for the third Test to be played from November 24 to 28.

Having lost five matches on the trot now, Smith hailed the African bowlers and conceded that his side needs to work on their weak areas before the third game.

“Credit to South Africa, the way they bowled was magnificent. Stick with us, we are working hard, and we will have to be a little bit more resilient. South Africa hit good areas and I don’t think I scored for the first 11 overs in the day. They challenged our defences,” captain Smith said at the post-match presser.

“We have been outplayed in the first two Tests, we have lost the last five Test matches. We will have to play better cricket in Adelaide.”

“We will have to find ways to get this Australian team over the line. This series is gone now. We’re going to work hard and play a lot better cricket in Adelaide,” he added.

Visiting skipper Faf du Plessis said he was proud of his team’s performance and are eyeing to complete a 3-0 whitewash of the Kangaroos in their own den.

“Sure, it’s a special performance. Yesterday we were exceptional, we made sure we were relentless. I am so happy for Abbott, he sits out most of the time with the great bowlers we have. I am chuffed he got a six-for and won a massive game of cricket for us,” he said.

“Australia is one of the toughest places to come and win. I am just proud of the way the team is moving forward. We are looking to go for places that may have seemed unlikely.”

“This is a very special moment. There is an opportunity to play the pink ball and beat Australia 3-0. Not many teams have done that. It is certainly our mission now,” he added.

Brief Scores: Australia 85, 161 (David Warner 45, Usman Khawaja 64, Kyle Abbot 6/77, Kasago Rabada 4/34) vs South Africa 326.

–IANS

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