Kagiso Rabada’s five-wicket haul in the second innings ensured South Africa took a 1-0 lead in the three-match Test series over Australia after beating the hosts by 177 runs on day five. Having begun the day needing 370 runs and just six wickets in hand, Australia fought valiantly but fell short in the end.
South Africa could have scarcely believed their chances of winning this match would be high, let alone this convincingly after they were shot down for 242 in the first innings and the hosts put on over 150 for the opening partnership. They also lost Dale Steyn soon after the opening stand was broken in the first innings on day two.
Still, they bounced back to bundle out Steve Smith’s side for just 244 before centuries from Dean Elgar and JP Duminy coupled with fifties from Quinton de Kock and Vernon Philander helped them set a target of 539 for the Aussies.
In response, the hosts needed David Warner to fire but an excellent run-out from Temba Bavuma saw the demise of Warner and from then onwards, it was a question of just how long Australia could delay the inevitable. In the end, they managed to hold on until just before tea and score 361 runs before the inevitable loss came.
Here are some interesting numbers from South Africa’s crushing win over Australia:
0 – No South African bowler has taken more five-wicket hauls in Tests before the age of 22 than Kagiso Rabada, who now has four to his name.
0.625 – South Africa’s win/loss ratio of 0.625 in Australia since their readmission is the best of any visiting team. The Proteas have won five and lost 8 Tests in that period.
1 – Australia’s loss now means India are the only team to not have lost a home Test since 2013.
2 – Only two South African bowlers, Dale Steyn (6) and Allan Donald (5) have dismissed more batsmen in 90s in Tests than JP Duminy. Duminy has dismissed Paul Collingwood, Virat Kohli and Usman Khawaja in their 90s.
3 – The number of consecutive wins by South Africa at Perth. The only venue where they have won more consecutive Tests away from home is Harare, where they have won 4.
4 – This is Australia’s fourth consecutive Test loss (following their 3-0 whitewash in Sri Lanka). In the last 30 years, only once have they lost more consecutive Tests, which was when they lost six (4 to India and 2 to England) in 2013.
5 – Only five South African bowlers have recorded better fourth innings figures against Australia than Kagiso Rabada’s 5/92.
8 – Australia became the first team to lose 8 wickets to lbws in a Perth Test. There were five lbws in the second innings and three in the first.
9 – This is only the ninth time that Australia have crossed 350 in the fourth innings of a Test. They have won three, drawn three and lost three.
16 – Of JP Duminy’s 38 Test victims,16 have been of batsmen who scored 50 or more.
97 – Usman Khawaja’s 97 is his highest score in the second innings. His previous best was 65 with all four of his centuries coming in the 1st innings.
1988 – This is the first time since 1988 that Australia have lost the first Test of their home season. On that occasion, they lost to the West Indies at Brisbane.
2012 – The last time Australia lost a Test match at home was in 2012, which was also against South Africa at Perth. Since then they went unbeaten in 18 Tests, winning 14 of them.