Kyle Abbott’s nine-wicket haul and another Australian collapse handed South Africa an innings victory and helped the visitors take an unassailable 2-0 lead over Australia in the three-match Test series.
Having begun the day, still 120 behind South Africa’s first innings total, Australia lost their last eight wickets for just 32 runs as they were bowled out for 161 in the second innings, following their 85 all out in the first, as they handed the Proteas a thumping victory by an innings and 80 runs.
South Africa captain Faf du Plessis said it was a “special performance”.
“Sure, it was a special performance. I thought that yesterday we were exceptional but weren't rewarded. That's what we wanted to do. Come back this morning and be relentless. All our bowlers were exceptional. When you play a three-seamer attack, all of them have to step up at different times,” the South African captain said.
Speaking about Kyle Abbott, who stepped up in place of the injured Dale Steyn, he said: “So happy for Abbott. He's had to sit on the sidelines because of some of the great bowlers we have but whenever he gets an opportunity, he puts his hand up. Chuffed for him that he's got a six-fer.
He also didnt’ forget the impact Vernon Philander had, who he admitted is “very tough” to play on that wicket and also praised the catching and batting by Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma.
Faf’s message for AB, Steyn
Although the Proteas were missing both AB de Villiers and Dale Steyn through injury, Faf paid tribute to his current squad and also had a message for the injured duo. “Enjoy it, celebrate with us [his message for AB, Steyn].”
“They know how difficult this place is to come and win. Australia is a tough team to beat on home soil, and to come here and beat them 2-0 is special. We've had a good 2-3 months as a team and I’m proud with how the team is moving. We're challenging each other. We want to go to places where it's unlikely to go. It's important that we enjoy this moment. When we get there it will be a challenge against the pink ball and there's an opportunity to beat Australia 3-0. I don't think many teams, if any, have achieved that. That'll certainly be our mission.
Kyle Abbott was awarded the Man of the Match for his nine wickets in the match. “ It's been a case of waiting for an opportunity. Nice to make something out of it. I try my heart out when I get an opportunity,” he said. “From day one, the pitch always had that look, and with the sun not coming out, it did a bit. Top of off with occasional bouncers: that was my theory. When a pitch assists you, you are going to be there in the game. We came into the series knowing the strengths and weaknesses of each of the batsman.“
We have been clueless against spin, seam or swing: Smith
Australian captain Steve Smith admitted that the play was to try and bat out day four. “For us, it was just about trying to fight and try to bat for the day. If we bat for the day, we could have got 280 or 300 and got ourselves in front” he said. “South Africa bowled well, gave no freebies, hit good areas and I don’t think I scored for the first 11 overs in the day. They challenged our defences and we have to find a way to be resilient and find a way to stay in the middle.”
Smith was also brutally honest in his assessment of how his side have been performing. He said: “Whether it’s spinning, seaming or swinging, we seem to be in trouble. It isn’t work at the moment. It’s difficult when the confidence is low too but we will have to find a way to be successful.”
Before adding, “Credit to South Africa, Philander, Abbott and Rabada, the way they bowled was magnificent. Stick with us, we are working hard, and we will have to be a little bit more resilient. We have been outplayed in the first two Tests, we have lost the last five Test matches but we are better than that. Let's hope that the Adelaide crowd is an inspiration. 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.”
Here are the reactions from the cricket fraternity:
Hard to think of better bowling as a "group" of seamers in the first hr of a days play in recent memory. SAvAUS. Excellent.— ian bishop (@irbishi) November 15, 2016
He Can Bowl - @Kyle_Abbott87— KP (@KP24) November 15, 2016
The Aussies are collapsing again ......— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) November 15, 2016
Bowling coaches around the World will be getting a DVD of this South African display .. Unbelievable consistency and skill .. #AUSvSA— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) November 15, 2016
Speechless!— Dale Steyn (@DaleSteyn62) November 15, 2016
Think I'm gana have a beer at 3am
It's said first innings runs and 2nd Innings wickets are the most important. How good is Kagiso Rabada #ausvsa— Scott Styris (@scottbstyris) November 15, 2016
Congrats SA too good @Kyle_Abbott87 well bowled bud. Disappointed for AUS, time to stand by them & fight for the rest of the summer.— Mitchell Johnson (@MitchJohnson398) November 15, 2016