CricketAUS vs SA: Erwee, Bavuma thwart Australia, salvage draw in third Test; hosts win series 2-0
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AUS vs SA: The South African top-order of Sarel Erwee, Heinrich Klaasen and Temba Bavuma dug deep to play out the final session on Day 5 of the third Test in Sydney against Australia to secure a draw on Sunday.

The Proteas’ batters finally found some spine at the SCG as Australia’s imposing bowling attack failed to take advantage of the conditions and the much-debated batting frailties of the Proteas in the longest format.
While the rain-affected third Test ended in a drab draw, Australia pocketed the series 2-0, almost making the final of the World Test Championship.

The Baggy Greens currently sit top of the WTC table at 75.56 per cent ranking points, with India trailing in the second spot at 58.93 per cent.

For once, in this series, the Aussies failed to cash in on a dominant performance with the bat.

Australia went into Day 5 in search of 14 South African wickets to complete a series sweep. The hosts, who declared at 475-4 on Saturday in an attempt to force a result, dismissed South Africa for 255 in their first innings, after lunch, enforcing a follow-on.

However, they couldn’t prise out 10 Protea wickets in their second innings.

After being completely outclassed in the previous two games at Brisbane and Melbourne, Sarel Erwee and Temba Bavuma led the Proteas to stumps on 106-2, helping the tourists salvage some pride from an other forgettable series.20230108_223137

After captain Dean Elgar was caught behind of a Pat Cummins’ delivery before tea, there was a familiar sinking feeling in the Proteas camp.

The South Africa skipper agregated a paltry 56 runs, at an average of 9.33, in an underwhelming series. The Aussie pace battery exposed his vulnerabilities against short-pitched bowling.

Nathan Lyon was upset after tea after a review of an on-field lbw call against Heinrich Klaasen went against him.

With 20 overs left, Klaasen’s good fortune ran out after he was clean bowled by a terrific reverse-swinging snorter from Josh Hazlewood, giving Australia some hope.

With 15 overs remaining for close of play, South Africa was 82 for 2. However, the Aussies continued its push for a series sweep, with skipper Cummins bringing himself into the attack in the hope of forcing a result.

However, the Proteas did manage to stand resolutely in the face of the Aussie barrage this time.

Part-time spinners Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, and Travis Head, who took the lone wicket in the morning session, also tried to force breakthroughs but to no avail.

A delivery from Josh Hazlewood clean-bowled Klaasen for 35, but opener Erwee, who struck 42 not out, and Bavuma, who was unbeaten on 17, thawarted the Aussies till the two teams shook hands.

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