Aussies end streak of Test losses

Australian batsman Matt Renshaw plays a shot on his way to an unbeaten 34.
Australian batsman Matt Renshaw plays a shot on his way to an unbeaten 34. DAVE HUNT

CRICKET: Australia has honoured the memory of Phillip Hughes by ending its five-Test winless streak with a seven-wicket success over South Africa in Adelaide.

Players wore black armbands in memory of the former international who died two years ago to the day, two days after being hit on the head by Sean Abbott bouncer.

Debutant Peter Handscomb hit the winning runs to follow on from his first-innings 53, with fellow rookie Matt Renshaw unbeaten on 34 at the other end as Australia won for the first time this summer, finishing on 3-127.

Skipper Steve Smith had been hoping to be there at the end too but was caught by Quinton de Kock off the bowling of Kyle Abbott for 40 with just two runs needed for the win.

There had been a little wobble earlier in the run chase when vice-captain David Warner was run out for a typically rapid 47 before Usman Khawaja fell two balls later for a duck following on from his fantastic first-innings century.

But with Renshaw patient - he faced 137 balls for his 34 - the Aussies cruised home inside four days to end what had been a hard few months for Smith and his team.

Earlier in the day Stephen Cook tried to keep the visitors in the game with a brilliant fighting 104 but de Kock, Vernon Philander - who was named man of the series - and Kagiso Rabada all went fairly cheaply before Cook was bowled by Mitchell Starc to leave the Aussies 127 to win.

Jackson Bird was the one to strike the first blow of the day when when he trapped de Kock in front for five to swing the game further the Aussies' way.

It was his Bird's first ball of the day and looked plumb LBW but was only given after Smith successfully reviewed umpire Nigel Llong's original decision of not out.

That was in the fifth over of the day and although the big quick dropped a sharp caught-and-bowled chance off Philander two overs later, Starc returned to the attack to get the wicket of the all-rounder LBW.

Cook did bring up his second Test hundred shortly after but when Rabada was caught pulling off the bowling of Josh Hazlewood, the opener had no choice but to attack and was bowled by Starc, who ended with four wickets.

It could have been a tricky run chase but with Warner and Smith taking the fight to the Proteas, the Aussies eased to the win.

The South Africans won the Test series 2-1, with Australia next in action in a three-match one-day international series against New Zealand starting on Sunday.

Topics:  australian cricket team matt renshaw proteas test cricket

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