At the start of the final day’s play of the fourth and final Test match of Australia’s tour of South Africa, South Africa required 7 wickets to wrap up the match and take the series 3-1. For purely educational purposes, Australia required to score a further 524 runs to win.
Ultimately Australia managed to add only 31 runs to their overnight score of 88-3 to be bundled out for 119 well within the morning session. Vernon Philander took 6 wickets in a sublime opening spell to help South Africa to a 492 run victory.
It was a great day for South African cricket, and one that would be well represented in the record books. It was South Africa’s first series win over Australia at home since readmission. In many ways, this was the final frontier for this team. They have beaten Australia in each of the last 3 series in Australia too. This also means the Proteas have now won Test series against every test playing nation both home and away after readmission.
This was also Morne Morkel’s last Test series, and it was a fitting finale for the big, popular paceman. Morkel ends his career with 309 wickets from 86 Tests at an impressive average of 27.66.
Philander’s second wicket of the day was his 200th Test wicket, playing in his 54th Test match. He now has 204 Test wickets at an incredible average of 21.46. His fourth innings bowling performance of 6/21 is also his best ever bowling figures.
One of the most eye catching stats has to be the margin of victory. South Africa won by a mammoth 492 runs. This is the biggest winning margin by runs since 1934. It narrowly edges out Australia’s 491 run victory over Pakistan at the WACA in 2004 to become the biggest victory margin in 84 years. This is the tenth occasion that a team has won a Test match by 400 or more runs. Overall it ranks as the 4th biggest victory by runs ever. Following is the top 5:
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