The third and final Test between South Africa and Australia ended in a draw, thanks to the weather gods. Like the previous two contests, the Aussies dominated the proceedings in Sydney as well. However, the lack of time didn’t allow them to bundle South Africa twice. Nevertheless, Australia clinched the series 2-0. Here we look at the key stats from the third Test.
The Aussies declared at 475/4 after opting to bat first. While Usman Khawaja dazzled with an unbeaten 195, Steve Smith (104) also mustered a ton. In reply, the Proteas could only manage 255 as number-nine batter Keshav Maharaj scored 53. Josh Hazlewood recorded a four-for. Aussie skipper Pat Cummins dismissed three batters. Following on, South Africa were 106/2 at stumps on the final day.
Khawaja struck his 13th Test hundred and also his highest score in the format. However, the rain delay forced Cummins to declare the innings before Khawaja could reach the landmark. Notably, this is Australia’s maiden Test series win over South Africa at home since 1997/98. Before the just-concluded series, SA toured Down Under thrice this century and clinched the Test leg every single time.
India will aim for the WTC final for the 2nd time
With 10 wins, a loss, and four draws so far, Australia extended its points tally to 136 with a points percentage (PCT) of 75.55. South Africa, who was in second place before the start of the series, slipped to the fourth position with a PCT of 48.71 after 13 games.
With South Africa’s huge slip-up in the series against Australia, India has managed to push itself back to the second spot after beating Bangladesh 2-0 in December 2022. However, India (58.93) has to thwart the threat of Sri Lanka which can push itself to a 60-plus PCT when it takes on Australia in their four-match series.
A 3-1 series win against Australia would just be enough for India to finish with a PCT of 61.92 and qualify for the final alongside the Aussies, ahead of Sri Lanka’s best possible result. A 2-2 series draw for India will help it finish ahead of South Africa’s best-possible result with a 56.4 PCT. It would also be enough for India to qualify should Sri Lanka drop points in its two-match series against New Zealand.
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