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AUSSIES DOWN UNDER

SA Inflict First Home Series Loss On World Champions After 16 Years


Australia have lost a Test series at home for the first time since 1992-93, following South Africa’s ninewicket victory in the second Test at the MCG on Tuesday.
Captain Graeme Smith typically led the way with 75 as South Africa claimed their first Test-series win on Australian soil.
According to The Age, the South Africans can snatch the top ranking from Ricky Ponting’s side if they sweep the series 3-0 with victory at the Sydney Test that gets off on Saturday.
Set 183 to win and resuming at 30 for no loss, the Proteas reached their target one wicket down, 55 minutes after lunch on day five to claim a 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
Smith hit 10 fours from 94 balls and was out leg before wicket to off-spinner Nathan Hauritz shortly before lunch after an opening stand of 121
with Neil McKenzie.
McKenzie was 59 not out, with Hashim Amla who made an unbeaten 30.
Pacer Brett Lee, who has been ordered to rest for six weeks after this match because of a stress reaction in his left foot, bravely opened the bowling for Australia and took 0-49 from 10 overs. Lee left the field half an hour before the game ended.
Australia’s woes deepened
on Tuesday with the news that 12th man Shane Watson will be unable to bowl for six months because of stress fractures in his back.
The Queenslander’s latest injury complicates Australia’s selection for Saturday’s third Test in Sydney.
Watson had been touted as a replacement all-rounder for the struggling Andrew Symonds, who is also battling knee soreness.
Ponting, whose captaincy tactics have been questioned during the second Test, produced a fine double of 101 and 99 with the bat for Australia.
South Africa paceman Dale Steyn took match figures of 10-154. Steyn, who has claimed 74 wickets this year, took four of the first five wickets to fall on Monday.
They included out-of-form pair Matthew Hayden (23) and Symonds (0). The 102-Test career of Hayden, 37, appears almost over.

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