Rabada blows away Australia in what might be his last act

12 March, 2018, 12:18 | Author: Judy Cobb
  • South Africa's Kagiso Rabada bowls on the first day of the second cricket test between South Africa and Australia at St. George's Park in Port Elizabeth South Africa Friday

It was the kind of intriguing battle out in the middle that observers hoped for from this four-test contest before it was given a bitter taste that still lingers by an off-field confrontation between Australia's David Warner and South Africa's Quinton de Kock in the first test.

On the third day, Usman Khawaja scored 75 runs to lead an Australian fightback He and Mitchell Marsh put on 87 runs for the fifth wicket before Khawaja, whose place in the team has been under threat, was trapped leg before wicket by Kagiso Rabada in the second last over of the day.

Australia had struggled to 180 for five by stumps, effectively 41 for five going into the penultimate day.

AB de Villiers has opened up about the nervous 90s, his brutal burnout and the "embarrassment" that stung him into action in the second Test.

De Villiers did not play Test cricket between January 2016 and December 2017, after he decided he needed time away from the game.

De Villiers insisted he was "always going to come back", but admitted he was completely burnt out prior to taking a break. I just got you out'. I was just flat, physically and mentally. "It really meant a lot to me to get that hundred". "He's been probably one of the outstanding bowlers of the series so far and with his pace and the way he strikes, I think his strike rate's one of the better ones in the world, it would be beneficial if we didn't have to face him". "It seemed like he was batting on a different wicket to everyone else". He celebrated exuberantly when he reached the mark with an upper cut for four against Pat Cummins. It was right up there with the best feeling ever.

"I was a lot more fearless when I was younger. That made me a feel a little bit better", he said.

But the repeat offender now appears certain to miss the rest of the four-Test series, having antagonised David Warner with another hostile celebration that is likely to result in a separate charge.

The Warner send-off was nearly identical to the one Smith received, but this time the Proteas paceman avoided brushing Warner after screaming in his face.

The South African quick has been charged with a level-two offence for making physical contact with Steve Smith while celebrating the wicket of Australia's captain in the first innings.

De Villiers, who averages over 50 in his 112 Test appearances, said he had learned much since his debut as a 20-year-old against England at the end of 2004.

"In a way I understand it. Dale (Steyn), when he's on fire, you don't even understand what's going on in that mind; you just see eyes and all sorts of stuff".

"It'd be handy for us not to have to face him", Saker said.

South Africa have been here before with Rabada - particularly after they lost him for a Test in England past year.

"Luckily for him he's never sort of crossed that line, but I think it's because we get to him".



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