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Monday, Dec 09th

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Dale Steyn took three wickets for four runs in 15 balls to break Australian resistance wide open and set South Africa on their way to a massive victory by 231 runs with a day to spare in the second Sunfoil Test match at Axxess St. George’s on Sunday.

The Proteas had taken the extra half-hour in their bid to win the match ahead of the predicted storms on Monday’s fifth day and there were only two balls left when part-time spinner, Dean Elgar – the seamers could not bowl in rapidly fading light – dismissed last man Nathan Lyon leg before wicket to claim the second wicket of his Test career.

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AB de Villiers stood man alone against the Mitchell Johnson juggernaut as Australia looked set to take a commanding first innings lead at the close of the second day of the first Sunfoil Test match at SuperSport Park on Thursday. When rain brought a slightly early close to play, South Africa were struggling at 140/6 in reply to Australia’s 397 all out with De Villiers having completed his half-century for the 11th Test in a row to equal a record held by Sir Vivian Richards, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir. He was unbeaten on 52 (94 balls, six fours and a six).

The Proteas, trailing by 257, were left still needing 58 runs to avoid the follow on although it was unlikely that Australian captain Michael Clarke would pursue that option. There is already a bit of uneven bounce in the surface and Nathan Lyon is extracting some spin, benefiting from the footmarks created by Johnson, and he will not want to bat last under such circumstances.

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Dale Steyn trumped the two batsmen most likely to get India through a testing last day at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead on Monday with his first 12 deliveries and thereafter there was no stopping South Africa after they had sniffed the kill. They went on to beat India by 10 wickets with most of the final session to spare to take the two-match Sunfoil Series by a 1-0 margin. It is an outcome that increases their lead over India at the top of the ICC World Test rankings to 16 rating points.

Steyn, who was the essential difference between the two teams in this match, taking nine wickets, including the key breakthroughs in both innings, was named Sunfoil Man of the Match while AB de Villiers was named Sunfoil Man of the Series.

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South Africa had by far their best day of the Sunfoil Test series against India at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead on Friday when they turned the tables on their opponents and took the momentum out of the second day’s play.

The Proteas finished the day on 82 without loss in only 20 overs in their first innings after they had taken nine wickets for 153 runs on a rain-shortened day to dismiss India for 334.

India started the day well on top at 181/1 but Dale Steyn changed the whole course of the game when he took three wickets in 10 balls without conceding a run to change the total from 198/1 to 199/4.

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South Africa fast bowler Vernon Philander has achieved the coveted number-one ranking on the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers after a stellar performance against India in the Johannesburg Test, which ended in a thrilling draw on Sunday.

Philander had entered the Test trailing team-mate Dale Steyn by four ratings points. While Philander recorded figures of four for 61 and three for 68, Steyn managed just one wicket. The contrasting performances resulted in Philander gaining 13 ratings points and Steyn conceding 13 ratings points.

This swing means Philander now leads Steyn by 22 ratings points and the 28-year-old from Bellville will now start the Durban Test as the number-one ranked bowler in the world for the first time in his career.

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South Africa waltzed past India in fine style to seal a comprehensive 141-run victory in the first ODI at the New Wanderers Cricket Stadium in Johannesburg on Thursday. India's bowlers faced heavy punishment, most severely from opening batsman Quinton de Kock, who went on to score an impressive 135 and help the Proteas post 358-4 after their 50 overs. India were bowled out for 217 in reply, and were unable to seriously threaten South Africa's dominance at any stage of the first ODI.

The second of the three ODI matches is scheduled to take place on Sunday at Durban. There was the possibility of rescinding the remainder of the tour, following the passing away of former South African President Nelson Mandela late Thursday night. However, Cricket South Africa (CSA) Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat confirmed in a press release the tour will carry on ahead as scheduled, further adding "We will, of course, appropriately mark the passing away of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the father of our nation and one of the world's greatest icons."

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Junaid Khan bowled a superb last over to enable Pakistan to beat South Africa by one run and to secure a famous series victory in the second Momentum ODI at Axxess St. George’s on Wednesday. The Proteas needed nine runs going into the last over but Junaid managed to shut the Proteas out, conceding only seven runs in the process.

It is the first time that Pakistan has beaten the Proteas in a bilateral ODI series in South Africa although they did win all three ODI’s against South Africa in a triangular series that also included the West Indies in 1993. As a result the Proteas failed to qualify for that final in which the West Indies beat Pakistan.

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