With their win over Australia in the fourth Test match at the Wanderers, South Africa registered the biggest win in Tests (by runs) for the last 84 years. Vernon Philander was in inspired form as he broke the back of the Australian batting line up and helped the Proteas to a 492 run victory.
Philander’s career best figures of six for 21 meant that Australia was bowled out for a paltry total of 119. With victory at the Wanderers, South Africa ended the controversial series with a 3-1 victory. The events of the Cape Town Test meant that Australia were without the services of David Warner, Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft, who are all currently serving bans for their involvement in ball tampering.
Biggest wins in terms of runs in Test cricket –
675 runs, Eng v Aus, 1928
562 runs, Aus v Eng, 1934
530 runs, Aus v SA, 1911
492 runs, SA v Aus, 2018
Largest win in terms of runs in 84 years.
— Peter Miller (@TheCricketGeek) April 3, 2018
In the first over of the day itself, Philander picked up the wickets of Shaun Marsh and Mitchell Marsh without the scorers being troubled. Fresh with the confidence of taking his 200th wicket in his 54th Test, Philander steamed in for every delivery and gave the Australian batsmen a hard time with his pace and swing.
Next to go was Peter Handscomb, in almost identical fashion to his dismissal in the first innings as he tried to leave the ball, only for it to take an inside edge and crash into his stumps. Tim Paine and Pat Cummins were also dismissed in quick succession, and as victory looked more and more obvious for South Africa, attention shifted to Morne Morkel who was playing in his last Test for the country.
With nine wickets down, Morkel was given the red cherry and tasked with finishing off the Australian innings to leave the international Test cricket arena on a high. Unfortunately, he did not pick up the last wicket, as Nathan Lyon was run-out by a smart Aiden Markram throw as he scampered towards taking a second run off Morkel’s bowling.
South Africa 488 and 344-6 declared
Australia 221 and 119 (Philander 6-21)
Result: South Africa won by 492 runs
Series: South Africa won the four-match series 3-1