Peter Handscomb and Matt Renshaw remained unbeaten on 1 and 34 each © Getty Images
Peter Handscomb and Matt Renshaw remained unbeaten on 1 and 34 each © Getty Images

Australia salvaged pride in the final match of the three-Test with a 7-wicket win over South Africa on Day Four at Adelaide Oval. Australia showed all-round brilliance throughout the day, beginning with Mitchell Starc’s figures of 4 for 80 and ending with Matt Renshaw’s composed unbeaten knock of 137-ball 34. Australia began their final Test journey with total of five changes in the side in response to their disastrous defeat against South Africa. Chasing target of 127, Australia bundled out Proteas for 250 on Day Four. Peter Handscomb played the winning shot finish the task. Meanwhile, Matt Renshaw remained unbeaten on 127-ball 34. Handscomb made late entry post Steven Smith’s dismissal who was caught for 40 off Kyle Abbott with two runs to win. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Australia vs South Africa, 3rd Test at Adelaide

Australia also lost the wickets of Usman Khawaja and David Warner post tea break. Warner was on brink of securing his Test fifty, eventually being dismissed for 47 due to mix-up with Renshaw. The openers added 64 runs for the opening stand before the left-hand batsman was dismissed. In the same over, Khawaja was lasted just two balls to Shamsi’s leg before wicket. Stephen Cook scored a defiant second Test century and first against Australia adding 56 runs lead earlier. It was an underwhelming series for Cook who had scores of: 0, 12, 23 and 40. He also built steady partnership with Hashim Amla of 81 runs, who showed decimal performance throughout the series with scores of: 0,1,47, 5 and 45.

Cook was the last man out for South Africa bowled by Starc before the tea break. Apart from Starc’s 4-wicket haul, Josh Hazlewood and Jackson Bird shared a wicket apiece. Meanwhile, Nathan Lyon bagged three wickets at the end of Day Three and also became the third best Australian spinner surpassing Clarrie Grimmett holding tally of 217 wickets. ALSO READ: Australia vs South Africa, day-night Test, Day 4 Tea Report: Hosts sniff victory

De Kock, who mastered the Australian bowlers, especially spinner Lyon, in the first two Tests, went cheaply. Kagiso Rabada lasted just nine deliveries. South Africa’s hopes to thrash Australia at home faced massive blow with target of just 127 set for hosts in the fourth innings. A game that initially belonged to South Africa with Faf du Plessis’ resounding century in response to his ball-tempering row went in vain as the top-order failed to capatilise on the platter provided by Cook and Du Plessis. Both the batsmen added 51-run stand and later with Abbott of 54 runs to take South Africa to 259 for 9.

Du Plessis’ sudden declaration backfired as Australia’s Khawaja turned the fortunes for Australia. Khawaja last achieved the score of 174 against New Zealand at Brisbane in 2015, adding his second best Test score on board. He was duly rewarded Man of the Match for his defiant knock. South Africa added Tabraiz Shamsi as the new man into the squad. Shamsi was unable to replicate the stance that Keshav Maharaj had added bagging just two wickets and tally of 18 runs on his debut Test.

The series ended on a happy note for South Africa as Vernon Philander bagged the Man of the Series award with tally of 136 runs and ending with 12 wickets. Meanwhile, Australia’s Hazlewood also had a good run with the pink-ball claiming 17 wickets in the series. South Africa will now play against Sri Lanka while Australia will face Pakistan this summer.

Brief Scores: 

South Africa 259/9 (Stephen Cook 40, Faf du Plessis 118*, Quinton de Kock 24, Tabraiz Shamsi 18*; Mitchell Starc 2 for 50, Josh Hazlewood 4 for 36, Jackson Bird 2 for 57) & 250 all out (Stephen Cook 104, Hashim Amla 45: Mitchell Starc 4 for 80, Nathan Lyon 3 for 60) lose to Australia 383 (Usman Khawaja 145, Steven Smith 59, Peter Handscomb 54, Mitchell Starc 53; Kyle Abbott 3 for 38) & 127/3 (Matt Renshaw 34*, David Warner 47, Steven Smith 40; Kyle Abbott 1 for 26) by 7 wickets

Man of the Match: Usman Khawaja

Man of the Series: Vernon Philander