Sport Cricket Australia wraps up Test to take 1-0 series lead over Proteas

Australia wraps up Test to take 1-0 series lead over Proteas

Josh Hazlewood
Josh Hazlewood celebrates the final wicket of Quinton de Kock to give Australia victory. Photo: AP
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Josh Hazlewood has claimed the final wicket required as Australia completed a 118-run victory in the Test series opener against South Africa.

The Proteas resumed at 9-293 on the morning of day five, having been set an intimidating target of 417 in Durban.

Hazlewood struck in Monday’s fourth over, ending the match when he trapped Quinton de Kock lbw for 83. De Kock reviewed the verdict but it only delayed the inevitable.

Celebrations were somewhat subdued from the tourists.

Partly because it was arguably bad light that stretched the contest into a fifth day but mainly because of the off-field altercation between de Kock and David Warner that has overshadowed proceedings.

There were handshakes aplenty when the ball-tracking replay ratified Australia’s victory – a tick over 15 minutes into the final day – but relations between the rivals are incredibly tense once again.

“It was a hard-fought Test,” Steve Smith said.

“The boys played some rally good cricket … things were getting a little bit nervous (when South Africa fought back on day four).”

Mitchell Starc was named man of the match after capturing nine wickets.

The second Test starts in Port Elizabeth on Friday, with the hosts insisting their day-four fightback is a moral victory that is cause for some confidence.

“I’m really proud of our fight but just not quite good enough to beat Australia,” South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis.

“The biggest character of this team is we’ll never go down without a fight.

“A target of 400 was always going to be a really tough ask … and most teams go away when the opposition is in a position of strength like Australia were.”

South African youngster Aiden Markram stalled Australia’s bid for victory at Kingsmead with a gutsy knock of 143 on day four.