7:00 PM (AEDST) Friday, March 9 at St George’s Park Cricket Ground, Port Elizabeth
South Africa will be looking to square the series after Australia won the opening clash convincingly in a heated and controversial clash.
Australia: Steve Smith, David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazelwood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Mitchell Starc, Shawn Harsh.
South Africa: Faf du Plessis, Hashim Amla, Keshav Maharaj, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Quentin de Kock, AB de Villiers, Dean Elgar, Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada.
There has been 25 Test series played between these sides, with Australia winning 15 to South Africa’s 5, with 5 series drawn. 93 Test matches have been played with Australia winning 50 to the Proteas 23 while 20 games have been drawn. South Africa won the last series 2-1 in 2016. South Africa won the first test of the last series despite being pummelled by Australia in the first innings and then losing their strike pace bowler Dale Steyn to injury. They then followed it up by hammering Australia, before Australia claimed a solid win in the third test at Adelaide. Australia won the first test in this series.
Australia’s home summer series saw them win the Ashes in a commanding series win over England, winning 4 games to nil. Prior to that series they had been kept to a 1 all drawn series with Bangladesh, which saw them lose their first ever game to Bangladesh in Test cricket. Australia batted first in the first test of this series and scored a solid 351 before Starc and Lyon ripped through the home side. Australia gave South Africa 417 to win, but they fell 118 runs short.
South Africa scored a 2-1 series win against India back in January on home soil. Their only other Test cricket in the last 6 months was a big win in a one-off test against Zimbabwe and two months prior saw South Africa hammer Bangladesh 2-0, scoring two huge wins. They failed to fire in the first innings of the first test here with both bat and ball, which allowed the visitors to set up a healthy lead. They’ll take plenty of good from the great improvement they displayed in their second digs with bat and ball despite losing.
Amla v Khawaja – Both batsmen were largely absent for the entire test, with Khawaja scoring 14 and 6 while Amla struggled more, scoring just 8 and 0. Both need to find their form fast here.
Australia will be confident after getting the solid win, however South Africa improved immensely in the back half of the match. Too close to call here.
South Africa $2.60