Thursday , 19 September 2019
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South African fans jeer the Australian team by holding placards against them in context with the ongoing ball tampering controversy

Harrowing defeat adds humiliation to a controversial Aussie team

CAPE TOWN: Australian cricket’s day of shame ended in a crushing 322-run defeat by South Africa on the fourth day of the third Test at Newlands today.

Set an unlikely 430 to win, Australia were bowled out for a paltry 107, with fast bowler Morne Morkel taking five for 23.

It was a fittingly dismal end to the match for Australia after they were caught up in a ball-tampering scandal on Saturday which sent shockwaves through the sport.

Skipper Steve Smith was subsequently banned for one match by the ICC, just hours after he and vice-captain David Warner had stood down from their positions for the remainder of the match.

“It’s been a horrible 24 hours — I want apologise to our fans and those back home,” said stand-in skipper Tim Paine.

The Australians had already woken to bruising criticism from their own chief executive and prime minister, as well as condemnation from around the cricket world.

It followed the admission by Smith and young batsman Cameron Bancroft that they had deliberately tried to change the condition of the ball on Saturday.

The day seldom got any better.

Tim Paine and his bowlers could not stop South Africa from taking their second innings total to 373.

Embattled opening batsmen Bancroft and Warner weathered a challenging 70 minutes before tea at the start of their second innings before the run-out of Bancroft sparked a collapse in which all ten wickets fell for just 50 runs in 19.3 overs and 99 minutes.

Bancroft fell to a direct hit from midwicket by South African captain Faf du Plessis after being called for a risky single by Warner.

Three overs later Warner edged Kagiso Rabada to AB de Villiers at third slip.

Both Bancroft and Warner were booed as they left the wicket but the near-capacity crowd’s jeers grew in volume when Smith walked out — and there were more boos after he was caught at gully off Morkel for seven.

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