REPORT: Barbecues galore as Aussies maul pitiful Proteas, complete 17-year first

    Australia have completed a resounding Test win over South Africa at the MCG to claim victory by an innings and 182 runs and an unassailable 2-0 series lead, ensuring a first series victory against the Proteas on home soil since January 2006.

    On a day marked by a pair of embarrassing Proteas run outs to perfectly sum up their tour, three wickets from Nathan Lyon led the charge despite the off-spinner appearing discomfited by a shoulder injury after a diving attempted stop in the field.

    Scott Boland (2/49) and Mitchell Starc (1/62) were also among the wickets, as was Steve Smith (1/9) with the final wicket of the match, while captain Pat Cummins conceded just 20 runs in 16 miserly overs after removing Proteas captain Dean Elgar the previous evening.

    Fittingly for a match played in tribute to the late, great Shane Warne, Smith’s seldom used leg-breaks claimed the final wicket, a well-flighted ball bamboozling Lungi Ngidi and crashing into off stump for a wicket the King would surely have approved of.

    STEVE SMITH WITH THE FINAL WICKET!

    ???? Watch #AUSvSA on Ch. 501 or stream via @kayosports https://t.co/Yme7MyxMOh
    ???? BLOG https://t.co/PSwkiwXPqd
    ???? MATCH CENTRE https://t.co/r53f6guJIo pic.twitter.com/ZMYcMWuTZI

    — Fox Cricket (@FoxCricket) December 29, 2022

    The Aussie dominance was encapsulated by their mastery of the DRS – a long-standing thorn in their side – with LBW referrals against Sarel Erwee (21) off Starc and later Marco Jansen (5) off Lyon swiftly vindicated.

    For the Proteas, a gritty 65 from Temba Bavuma was the sole highlight of the innings, but his chief role in the disastrous run outs of first Khaya Zondo (1) and then Keshav Maharaj (5) took plenty of the gloss off the innings, as did his ugly dismissal lofting Nathan Lyon to leave the tail high and dry.

    Some late hitting from final pair Lungi Ngidi (19) and Anrich Nortje (8 not out) did at least ensure the Proteas reached 200 for the first time in eight innings, but it comes as little comfort for the soundly beaten tourists.

    It is Australia’s 14th-largest innings victory in history, and largest since crushing the West Indies by an innings and 212 runs in December 2015.

    As for the pitiful Proteas, the loss is their 10th-largest, but remarkably, still sits second behind their innings and 276-run loss to New Zealand in February for their heaviest of 2022.

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