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08-Jan-2023 07:25:00 GMT
Aus vs SA - 3rd Test, SCG, day 5

Proteas stand tall to grind out third-Test draw

Australia 475 for 4 dec (Khawaja 195*, Smith 104, Head 70, Nortje 2-55) drew with South AfricaSouth Africa 255 and 106 for 2 (Erwee 42*)

Sydney: A defiant South Africa only allowed the Aussies to take six final-day wickets as they showed considerable fight on day five at the SCG

For the third time in as many Sydney 'summers', the combination of obdurate opposition batting and an equally stubbornly benign SCG pitch has denied Australia's bowlers the final-day victory they so keenly sought.

Having been stalled by some spirited lower-order resistance in the Proteas first innings, Australia ripped through the last three wickets for the addition of three runs which rendered South Africa 220 runs in arrears and 21 runs shy of the follow-on, which was duly enforced.

It also left Pat Cummins' team a minimum of 47 overs and around three and a half hours to claim 10 second innings wickets to snatch victory, a challenge that proved beyond them with South Africa finishing 2-106 when players shook hands at 5.22pm under bright afternoon sun.

It meant Australia claimed the NRMA Insurance Series 2-0 with Usman Khawaja named player of the match for his unbeaten 195 and David Warner player of the series after his 200 in Melbourne.

And after their 2-0 trouncing of West Indies, they finish their second consecutive home Test summer undefeated and end the Proteas' run of three successive series wins in Australia.

Ultimately the loss of almost two full days to rain ensured an outright result was never going to be achieved, although Australia surely felt a string of close umpiring calls that fell in the tourists' favour over the final hours might have made their eventual second innings score decidedly skinnier.

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