The Superman of cricket AB de Villiers in Australia vs south Africa rolled back the years with a fantastic century rolled back the years with a fantastic century to hand South Africa a massive first innings boost. Kagiso Rabada then got Usman Khawaja (75) trapped LBW late in Day Three, with the batsman did not even feel the need to go upstairs for a review. Dejection stemmed in the Australian dressing room. They have a mountain to climb!
Australia ended the third day on 180/5 at stumps and led the hosts by a paltry 41 runs as South Africa plundered 380 in the first innings at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth. There will be a huge amount of satisfaction for Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis as he knows the team are in with a chance to level the four-match series 1-1.
The man of the moment was AB de Villiers, one of the best batsmen in the modern era. The brilliance of his determining 22nd ton reflected a sense of a vividness. A century was always coming for AB after some gritty half-centuries scored this year against India and then Australia in the first Test.
It took the celebrated personality 13 Tests to finally get to a ton. An unbeaten 126 was a work in the making and he grabbed it with both hands.The 34-year-old senior South African protege played a gem of an innings hitting 20 fours and a six in a 146-ball stay at the crease. It was an AB masterclass!
What an innings! What a player! Take a bow @ABdeVilliers17 🇿🇦🔥 pic.twitter.com/yuZu8mrE9L
— ICC (@ICC) March 11, 2018
Parity was restored by AB after his last Test century came in 2015 against the West Indies. Six half-centuries and three years later, he finally broke the shackles this time getting help from Vernon Philander (36) and Keshav Maharaj (30) to give him the company he so much desired.
It has been a tremendous comeback for the man in Test cricket. He returned for the Boxing Day Test against Zimbabwe and has been part of all five Tests against India and Australia since then. He has been South Africa’s leading run-scorer in five of the last 10 innings.
In the first Test he had scored 71*, but ran out of partners at the other end. This time he finally roared aloud and there was nobody to stop him. The interesting fact is that he is yet to be dismissed by an Australian bowler in this series after getting run-out in the 2nd innings of the first Test. Such has been his command that he deserves all the plaudits.
AB de Villiers in australia vs south africa got to his ton with a trademark upper-cut shot as the ball raced to the boundary. There was a loud cheer from the crowd at Port Elizabeth as fans around the world admired the beauty he brings to the game. He played the situation very well and in a manner that only a player of his calibre can achieve.
STAT ATTACK: The profound AB
- This was AB’s sixth Test ton against Australia.
- He went past Gary Kirsten to be the fourth highest century scorer for South Africa.
- This was De Villiers’ fourth score of 50+ in Tests in 2018.
Rabada shines again
Australia’s Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Marsh shared a fighting fifth wicket partnership of 87 and almost succeeded in taking their team through to the fourth day with at least a glimmer of hope. Then Rabada did what he does best.
He struck for the third time in the innings. Bowling around the wicket he trapped Khawaja in front of his stumps with a full delivery after the left-hander made 75 off 136 balls.
The pair of Khawaja and Marsh (39 not out) came together when Australia were 86 for four but batted for more than two hours on a pitch which was largely placid. In contrast to the first innings, there was no pronounced reverse swing for the bowlers.
Rabada’s three wickets were highly resourceful for the Proteas and the timing was key. He made a key breakthrough when he bowled David Warner for 13, during a hostile opening spell in which his fastest delivery was timed at 151 kmh.
He then got Shaun Marsh caught behind for one with the second ball after tea. And he ended the day with Khawaja’s wicket to be at 3/51 after picking a five-for in the first innings.
Brief scores: Australia 243 & 180/5 (Khawaja 75, Rabada 3/51) lead South Africa 382/10 (AB de Villiers 126*) by 41 runs