Australia has absolutely dominated South Africa in the Boxing Day Test, romping to an innings and 182 run thrashing at the MCG.
Although the match went twice as long as the first Test at the Gabba, it was all one way traffic throughout the match as South Africa proved to be their own worst enemy.
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The one bright spot was the Proteas passed 200 for the first time in seven Test innings but that was the only positive.
Starting the day 1/15, regular wickets saw South Africa limp past the 200 mark with two of the wickets coming by run out.
Khaya Zondo was run out by birthday boy Travis Head after taking a single that was never there.
But the Fox Cricket commentators slammed the visitors for not being up to Test standard with the diabolical running between wickets.
The side have been torn to shreds after Temba Bavuma essentially BBQed Keshav Maharaj in a horrific run out.
After Maharaj knocked a ball through the covers for what seemed like it would be an easy three, the South African spinner was run out after his partner appeared to hang him out to dry.
Bavuma was accused of taking the first run easy, before almost colliding, and then getting Maharaj to commit before sending him back.
Mark Waugh said it was “under-10s stuff” and “village cricket” to have two run outs in a day.
“That was a total disaster, two good runs and then one shocking run,” Waugh added.
“Complete confusion between Bavuma and Maharaj. Should have been an easy three.
“Absolute disaster for South Africa. That sums up the first two Test matches for them.”
Ian Smith added it was “a calamity” and “dreadful cricket” that would see junior players kept back at training to work on the running between wickets.
Kerry O’Keeffe said Bavuma often took steps down the wicket when deciding to take a run or not but also didn’t communicate with his partner.
Waugh doubled down: “Amateur hour from Bavuma unfortunately. That’s not good enough for Test level. That’s just not good enough. It’s alright to be out to a good ball or a good piece of fielding but not a mistake like that.”
O’Keeffe added it was “symptomic there are problems” but Waugh said it was “not quite up to Test level”.
While he was a lone hand in the innings, Bavuma copped the criticism as he turned for the third facing the wrong direction.
Waugh said: “It was an attitude too, that’s selfish. You’re thinking about yourself, you’re not thinking about your partner. You’re not in sync with your teammates.”
It was South Africa’s third run out of the game and Bavuma had been involved in all three.
Bavuma was next to go after a fighting 65, and from there it was a matter of who would take the wickets.
Nathan Lyon toon 3/53, Scott Boland 2/49 and Mitchell Starc claimed 1/62 despite his finger injury which will sideline him for some time.
Steve Smith even chimed in with the final wicket, bowling Lungi Ngidi, who’s 12-ball 19 pushed South Africa to 204.
ESPN Cricinfo’s South African correspondent Firdose Moonda put the result into context, writing: “So just for context, South Africa have been bowled out for *just* over 200 by a four-man attack, which includes one bowler with a dislocated finger. And there’s the end of the dream to win four successive Test series in Australia. Personally, I’m pleased it’s over.”
CODE Sports’ Daniel Cherny wrote: “What a meek showing from South Africa. Came here as a genuine show of making the WTC final and have been walloped in not even six days of Test cricket.”
The Age’s Greg Baum added simply: “That was s**thouse South Africa.”
Aussies nail another review
Australia are circling their prey having taken a sixth wicket thanks to Nathan Lyon knowing he got his man.
After scaring the Aussies after he left the field following a possible shoulder injury.
But on his return, Lyon delivered a belter to trap Marco Jansen on the back leg.
A big turning stock ball didn’t move as far as Jansen thought, missing the bat and hitting the leg.
But the umpire game it not out, despite Lyon going full appeal with a back arch.
And the Aussies were right to review, showing Jansen was plumb.
Scott Boland was at it again, trappling Kyle Verreynne lbw for 33 to take his second wicket.
Meanwhile Nathan Lyon is off the field after he landed heavily on his shoulder while attempting a diving catch.
South Africa toss another wicket away
Khaya Zondo was run out for just one run when Temba Bavuma called him through for a suicidal single.
Travis Head raced in and scooped up the Kookaburra before a diving underarm throw caught Zondo almost two meters outside the crease.
Bavuma had dropped the ball on the square with a soft-handed push, but with Zondo failing to back-up there was clearly never a run in it. It left South Africa 4/65.
“That’s a terrible run. It really is. There was half a single in it and Zondo had given up,” Mark Waugh said on Fox Cricket.
“I think that probably sums up their tour so far. Just mistake after mistake … There’s just no energy or game awareness.”
Furious Starc takes first scalp after DRS drama
Mitchell Starc has taken the first wicket on Day 4, trapping Sarel Erwee in front.
Australia had two wickets for 10 runs when Scott Boland struck shortly after.
Starc removed Erwee for 21, ending a solid partnership of 47 runs.
Starc pitched the ball up in the block hole and it struck Erwee in front. Umpire Paul Reiffel dismissed the appeals from the Aussies, but Pat Cummins referred the decision to the DRS after Nathan Lyon came in from point to suggest the ball struck Erwee’s toe before he got bat on it.
It took a side-on hot spot frame to show the ball had hit Erwee’s shoes before his bat.
It came after Starc had pulled up in the middle of his bowling action to warn Theunis de Bruyn for leaving his crease at the non striker’s end.
Starc stared de Bruyn down after the incident and then gave him some words.
Fox Cricket’s Isa Guha exclaimed at the time: “My word”.
Starc was heard saying: “Line’s there for a reason. Stay in your crease, it’s not that hard”.
He struck the next ball.
Minutes later Boland popped up to dismiss de Bruyn with a delivery that nipped up and resulted in a thick edge traveling to Steve Smith at second slip.
Starc was happy to make fun of de Bruyn when speaking to Fox Cricket during the next drinks break.
“He was half way down Punt Road wasn’t he. It’s bad enough in white ball cricket.,” he said.
“I was just letting him know if I can keep my foot behind the line he can keep his foot behind the line.”
Wife’s perfect sledge takes down Boxing Day hero
Alex Carey’s special moment has been capped off with a memorable interview given by wife Eloise at the MCG.
Carey became the second Aussie wicketkeeper to ever score a century at the MCG and it came from just 133 deliveries.
He was full emotion as he reached the milestone and Eloise revealed later his spell in the nervous nineties had the family feeling all the emotions.
“We had all the kids around waiting for it to happen and all the kids were saying, ‘Has he made his hundred yet?’. We thought they were going to jinx it,” she told Channel 7’s Greg Blewitt.
“Alex’s dad would not have been very happy.”
She also took light-hearted digs at her partner over his busy summer schedule and preparation for the Boxing Day Test.
“He could be doing more with the kids,” she said of his preparation when speaking to Triple M.
She also told Seven Carey’s summer schedule was a bit much for the family.
“We do as much (travelling) as we can,” she said.
“It can be a bit hard with the two kids because hotel living isn’t really conducive to keeping two kids happy and busy. But we do as much as we can because if we didn’t we’d never see Alex because he’s just so busy all the time.”
Classy reaction to Carey’s century
Cameron Green has further endeared himself to Australian cricket fans with a heartwarming celebration of Alex Carey’s maiden century during the second Test between Australia and South Africa.
On day three of the Boxing Day Test, Carey brought up his first Test century and while he celebrated the milestone modestly, his batting partner at the other end couldn’t have been happier for him.
After Carey struck a ball through the covers to bring up his ton, Green immediately raised his arms with delight as he ran between the wickets.
The classy touch didn’t go unnoticed by viewers, who said it was proof Green is the ultimate team man.
“Just keep an eye on Cam Green here, everyone needs a Cam Green to play sport with,” commentator Mark Howard said on Fox Cricket.
“I thought that was a fantastic representation of what that young man is all about.
“It’s a real warm embrace. And I’m sure that moment (his maiden century) is not too far away for him either.
“Five wickets in the first innings and he batted beautifully today under duress.”