SA v Australia, 3rd Test, Cape Town, 5th day March 5, 2014

Australia end international away-series win drought

Stats highlights from Australia's series-clinching win in Cape Town
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  • Australia won their first overseas Test series in almost two years. Their previous victory was in West Indies in 2012. Since then, they had lost a Test series in India 4-0, and the Ashes in England 3-0.

  • Excluding Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, Australia's win was the first away series success for a Test side since November 2012, when England won a series in India 2-1 and South Africa won 1-0 in Australia. Since then, there had been 16 Test series that ended in a draw or in a win for the home side.

  • Australia are one of only two teams to beat South Africa at home since their readmission to Test cricket in 1992. The other team, England, have done so only once in 2004-05. Australia won five of the seven series and haven't lost yet in South Africa

  • The 2-1 loss was South Africa's first for 16 series. Australia had handed them their last series defeat too, in 2008-09. Since then South Africa had won eight Test series and drawn six.

  • South Africa's batsmen averaged 14.54 runs per wicket fewer than Australia's batsmen in this series. Since 1992, this is the second highest difference in average between South Africa's batsmen and their opposition in a home series. The highest also came against Australia, in the 2001-02 series, when South Africa's batsmen averaged 17.44 runs fewer than Australia's batsmen.

  • Graeme Smith was the 13th South Africa captain to lose his last Test. Only three players have won their last Test as South Africa captain - Hansie Cronje, Ali Bacher and Peter van der Merwe. Nummy Deane and Henry Taberer drew their last Test as captains.

  • Mitchell Johnson's 22 wickets are the second most by a fast bowler in three-Test series in South Africa after George Lohmann's 35 in a series in 1895-96.

  • AB de Villiers had batted for 326 minutes and faced 228 deliveries by the time he was dismissed by Ryan Harris. No other batsman had faced more deliveries in the fourth innings of a Test at Newlands. Australia's Ian Redpath had faced 216 deliveries for his unbeaten 47 against the hosts in 1970.

  • De Villiers' also faced the second highest number of balls (since balls faced information is available) by a South Africa batsman in the fourth innings at home. Faf du Plessis batted 309 deliveries against India to save the Johannesburg Test last year.

  • De Villiers' 326-minute vigil is also the longest any batsman has batted in the fourth innings at the venue (since minutes batted information is available).

  • De Villiers scored only 43 runs. His strike rate was 18.85 - the second slowest innings ever in South Africa (200 or more deliveries). Jack Russell's 235-ball unbeaten 29 against the hosts in Johannesburg in 1995 is the slowest such innings in South Africa. This innings ranks third in terms of the slowest strike rates for de Villiers in innings of 100 or more balls. His 220-ball 33 in the famous draw at the Adelaide Oval last year is his slowest.

  • Nightwatchman Kyle Abbott kept de Villiers company for 29.3 overs, scoring just seven runs off 89 deliveries. Only Geoff Miller, who faced 101 balls against Australia at the MCG in 1978-79, has taken more deliveries to make a score of 7.

  • Since 2011, South Africa batsmen have dominated the opposition bowlers in Tests at home, with their top order (No. 1 to No. 7) averaging 40.51 per wicket and scoring 51 fifty-plus scores. During this period, there have been only three innings when South Africa's top-seven batsmen all failed to score a fifty (or more). All three were against Australia, two of them in Cape Town.

  • Vernon Philander's rearguard lasted 109 deliveries before he ran out of partners. It was the most balls a No. 9 has batted in the fourth innings of a Test and only the fourth time such an innings has lasted 100 deliveries or more.

  • Philander's fifty was also only the seventh by a No. 9 batsman in the fourth innings of a Test and only eight runs short of the highest fourth-innings score by a No. 9 - Jimmy Blanckenberg's 59 against England in Johannesburg in 1913-14.

Shiva Jayaraman is a sub-editor(stats) at ESPNcricinfo.com

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY izzidole on | March 6, 2014, 0:54 GMT

    South Africa's rearguard action nearly robbed Australia of a well derserved victory after dominating the match right from day one. It required lots of patience and determination from their batsmen to save defeat on the final day. No wonder they are one of toughest teams to beat especially at home. They are so tough that it's never too easy to win against them. Only Australia has managed to beat them in their own backyard since they regained re- admittance to the ICC in 1992. It's a shame that it is only a three match test series and should be increased to atleast four in the future. However overall Australia has now won 50 test matches to South Africa's 21 with 20 tests drawn between these two great cricketing nations.

  • POSTED BY PrasPunter on | March 8, 2014, 6:50 GMT

    @Paul Mcallister, can't agree more - like the Ashes, Aus - SA must play every two years - 3 at home and 3 away - back-to-back. To me , Aus, SA and Eng are the torch-bearers of test-cricket. So the more the contests, the better.

  • POSTED BY on | March 7, 2014, 9:27 GMT

    I think SA v Aus are always the best test series going. it is the meeting of two very similar teams who just go for each other's throats. a real clash of the titans. I hope they can start playing each other home and away every two years. and not every four years like it is at present.

  • POSTED BY JJJake on | March 7, 2014, 1:16 GMT

    Couple of interesting facts since at the start of the Ashes: Combining both test series, 5 v England and 3 v South Africa: Australia has scored 5135 runs in their 16 innings at an average of 321/innings. Opposition has scored 3803 runs in their 16 innings at an average of 238/innings. Australia has secured 17 centuries in these matches Opposition has secured 4 centuries in these matches. Warner scored 1066 runs @74.3 Australia has lost 123 wickets out of 160 in their 16 innings costing 42 runs/wicket Opposition has lost 153 wickets out of 160 in their 16 innings costing 25 runs/wicket Australia declared in 8/16 innings Opposition declared in 1/16 innings Johnson took 59 wickets @ 15.7It is pretty clear that the Australian batsmen and bowlers have dominated the 8 tests. more silly stat, Nathan Lyon's wicket has only been taken twice from the 16 innings he was involved in.Big congrats on a hard fought and successful summer winning 7/8 tests

  • POSTED BY on | March 6, 2014, 23:55 GMT

    and i read whats the point in sending in abbot as nightwatchman, smith as unimaginative as u may seem from the outset, in close circles you must rank very very highly

  • POSTED BY creekeetman on | March 6, 2014, 16:33 GMT

    @ izzidole, SA have also lost a test series to England at home, they lost 2-1 in 5 tests.

  • POSTED BY on | March 6, 2014, 15:49 GMT

    The only Thing I am miffed at it is Kallis not retiring with Smith.That would have been some spectacular affair to watch.But then things are as they are and no one gets to choose his time.Brilliant series played along expected lines

  • POSTED BY BillyCC on | March 6, 2014, 9:32 GMT

    South Africa still deserve to be the rightful No.1. Australia have not done enough in the past couple of years to warrant anything higher than its current position. But please let's not compare this South African side to any of the old-time great sides. The facts are these: during their so called unbeaten run, the ratio of series wins and other results was a little over 50%. They did not win the subcontinent and had poor results at home. Most importantly, a draw is not a win. Never has been, never will be. Under any of the usual rankings system in sport (English Premier League, Super 15 Rugby, Sheffield Shield etc.), a draw is penalised (even the ICC rankings do this). In Super 15 rugby, the team who plays attacking rugby gets rewarded further. South Africa have not demonstrated any attacking flair and the number of draws means it cannot rightfully challenge to be in the list of all-time great sides. Not yet anyway.

  • POSTED BY PuneetAgg on | March 6, 2014, 7:48 GMT

    Dale Steyn said...This is not Mumbai...Mr Steyn, this is not Indian team !

  • POSTED BY ThreePIllarTales on | March 6, 2014, 6:55 GMT

    What a series ! Shame on crowd turnout for their greatest cricket captain last test. Hard to replace a great leader like Smith. If Kallis was king then Biff was the emperor... He fields 9 on the ropes but whaddya do when Davey is going nuts ! A big century at almost run a ball despite the hour long rubbish from JP. Hats off to Pup and the boys. Pup n Rhino... True grit. Could be the start of an era if they nail India at home and another away win.

  • POSTED BY izzidole on | March 6, 2014, 0:54 GMT

    South Africa's rearguard action nearly robbed Australia of a well derserved victory after dominating the match right from day one. It required lots of patience and determination from their batsmen to save defeat on the final day. No wonder they are one of toughest teams to beat especially at home. They are so tough that it's never too easy to win against them. Only Australia has managed to beat them in their own backyard since they regained re- admittance to the ICC in 1992. It's a shame that it is only a three match test series and should be increased to atleast four in the future. However overall Australia has now won 50 test matches to South Africa's 21 with 20 tests drawn between these two great cricketing nations.

  • POSTED BY PrasPunter on | March 8, 2014, 6:50 GMT

    @Paul Mcallister, can't agree more - like the Ashes, Aus - SA must play every two years - 3 at home and 3 away - back-to-back. To me , Aus, SA and Eng are the torch-bearers of test-cricket. So the more the contests, the better.

  • POSTED BY on | March 7, 2014, 9:27 GMT

    I think SA v Aus are always the best test series going. it is the meeting of two very similar teams who just go for each other's throats. a real clash of the titans. I hope they can start playing each other home and away every two years. and not every four years like it is at present.

  • POSTED BY JJJake on | March 7, 2014, 1:16 GMT

    Couple of interesting facts since at the start of the Ashes: Combining both test series, 5 v England and 3 v South Africa: Australia has scored 5135 runs in their 16 innings at an average of 321/innings. Opposition has scored 3803 runs in their 16 innings at an average of 238/innings. Australia has secured 17 centuries in these matches Opposition has secured 4 centuries in these matches. Warner scored 1066 runs @74.3 Australia has lost 123 wickets out of 160 in their 16 innings costing 42 runs/wicket Opposition has lost 153 wickets out of 160 in their 16 innings costing 25 runs/wicket Australia declared in 8/16 innings Opposition declared in 1/16 innings Johnson took 59 wickets @ 15.7It is pretty clear that the Australian batsmen and bowlers have dominated the 8 tests. more silly stat, Nathan Lyon's wicket has only been taken twice from the 16 innings he was involved in.Big congrats on a hard fought and successful summer winning 7/8 tests

  • POSTED BY on | March 6, 2014, 23:55 GMT

    and i read whats the point in sending in abbot as nightwatchman, smith as unimaginative as u may seem from the outset, in close circles you must rank very very highly

  • POSTED BY creekeetman on | March 6, 2014, 16:33 GMT

    @ izzidole, SA have also lost a test series to England at home, they lost 2-1 in 5 tests.

  • POSTED BY on | March 6, 2014, 15:49 GMT

    The only Thing I am miffed at it is Kallis not retiring with Smith.That would have been some spectacular affair to watch.But then things are as they are and no one gets to choose his time.Brilliant series played along expected lines

  • POSTED BY BillyCC on | March 6, 2014, 9:32 GMT

    South Africa still deserve to be the rightful No.1. Australia have not done enough in the past couple of years to warrant anything higher than its current position. But please let's not compare this South African side to any of the old-time great sides. The facts are these: during their so called unbeaten run, the ratio of series wins and other results was a little over 50%. They did not win the subcontinent and had poor results at home. Most importantly, a draw is not a win. Never has been, never will be. Under any of the usual rankings system in sport (English Premier League, Super 15 Rugby, Sheffield Shield etc.), a draw is penalised (even the ICC rankings do this). In Super 15 rugby, the team who plays attacking rugby gets rewarded further. South Africa have not demonstrated any attacking flair and the number of draws means it cannot rightfully challenge to be in the list of all-time great sides. Not yet anyway.

  • POSTED BY PuneetAgg on | March 6, 2014, 7:48 GMT

    Dale Steyn said...This is not Mumbai...Mr Steyn, this is not Indian team !

  • POSTED BY ThreePIllarTales on | March 6, 2014, 6:55 GMT

    What a series ! Shame on crowd turnout for their greatest cricket captain last test. Hard to replace a great leader like Smith. If Kallis was king then Biff was the emperor... He fields 9 on the ropes but whaddya do when Davey is going nuts ! A big century at almost run a ball despite the hour long rubbish from JP. Hats off to Pup and the boys. Pup n Rhino... True grit. Could be the start of an era if they nail India at home and another away win.

  • POSTED BY SachinIsAGoner on | March 6, 2014, 6:20 GMT

    Throughout the match, Aussies maintained a much higher Run Rate in the last test. When there are stats(?) available for lowest strike rate, more number of balls, etc, why the Run Rate hasnt been taken. Also, total runs scored by Australia and no. of wickets they have taken against a No.1 team, would also be record if it is compared with another team with another No.1 team.

  • POSTED BY ShutTheGate on | March 6, 2014, 5:13 GMT

    @ AussiePhoenix - I agree!

  • POSTED BY AussiePhoenix on | March 6, 2014, 4:08 GMT

    I disagree with some of the praise for SA. Gutsy - NO. Determined - yes, stubborn - yes, but not gutsy. Gutsy would have been to go after the runs, back all the talent in your batting lineup, put pressure on the Oz bowlers. To deliberately not try to win is pointless. A purposeful draw is not a positive result. Why play the game if you don't want to win? If Australia bowled with the same approach as SA, just passing time, the whole last day would have been a sleep fest. Well done Australia. Old style cautious cricket loses to attacking Test cricket.

  • POSTED BY __PK on | March 6, 2014, 3:49 GMT

    The SA TV commentators were fantastically biassed. Not criticising, I think it's fine, as long as you're positive with it, not negative. They described Philander and Steyn's innings as a possible redemption for the end to the 1st test v India, though. If anything a draw would have been compounding their sins.

  • POSTED BY valvolux on | March 6, 2014, 3:46 GMT

    Australia simply lifts a gear against South Africa as the stats show. You can forgive South Africa being beaten from 1992 - 2007, however even during the darker Australian period from 2008 - 2012, South Africa always struggled to put Australia away. In 2008 it took a 414 in the fourth dig to win the first test, they recovered from 7/184 still over 200 behind and were rescued from a duminy / steyn special to take the second. In 2012 they were saved by the rain in the first test, stonewalled a miraculous draw in the second and then even recovered from 6/75 in their first dig at the waca to eventually win comfortably. And of course they haven't managed to beat australia at home. This series needs a trophy and an extra test - the crowds in south Africa were terrible and they deserve a marquee series. I think for the time being drop India vs oz back to 3 tests...as that series is guaranteed to be 3-0 to the home team and has lost the magic of 10 years earlier.

  • POSTED BY wapuser on | March 6, 2014, 3:22 GMT

    South africa are pathetic. No wonder why no one turns up to watch them play when they just play for draws. Its so obvious why no one goes to see them. They were playing for the draw when clarke won the toss. South africa are a disgrace. If it wasnt for aus and india cricket definately would be dead. There is no way in hell ab devilliers is best batter in the world. David warner shits on devilliers. its so pathetic howthey think a draw is heroic. Its embarrassing for their country. If I ever see australia do that I would be ashamed of australia but australia will never do that.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | March 6, 2014, 2:46 GMT

    SA cricket fans are probably the worst at saluting a champion player like Smith.. I remember being in Perth for Ponting's last test match.. everyday was a sellout.. the crowds seen over the last two days for Smith was just disappointing

  • POSTED BY Moppa on | March 6, 2014, 2:07 GMT

    The balls faced stats highlight how gutsy and determined South Africa were. Abbott, de Villiers, du Plessis, Philander and Steyn, and even Duminy, showed tremendous fight. They forced Australia to use every trick in the book to get home. As tight as it was, Australia generated enough chances to deserve the victory.

  • POSTED BY ShutTheGate on | March 6, 2014, 1:57 GMT

    Did this series break the record for the worst attended test series in South Africa as far as spectators at the ground?

    I'm guessing that day 1 on the MCG test on 26 December 2013, probably had as many or maybe even more spectates than all 13 days of this series. No wonder they can't afford a fielding coach.

  • POSTED BY badyon on | March 5, 2014, 23:09 GMT

    All the stats for South African time wasting are hilarious. You forgot the stats for most time with 9 men on the boundary?

  • POSTED BY JFAB on | March 5, 2014, 23:06 GMT

    I love all the stats work - thanks. There is nothing you can do about it but I get frustrated at stats that are misleading. Philander's 'number 9' records are a perfect example. He did bat at 9 so the stats are true. He had the time and partner limitations of a number 9. BUT Philander is not a number 9 bat in terms of ability- he is a very good number 8. HE was only at 9 because of the use of night watchman. I wonder how many lower order batting records are held by players batting lower out of position (night watchman, injury or tactical switch), leaving those 'real' nines, tens and Jacks out in the cold. Oh well, that's stats I guess - but I still love 'em John

  • POSTED BY LegSpinBowlr on | March 5, 2014, 19:49 GMT

    Not a convincing no 1 team SA, whenevr they are down in a test match, they tend to just shutdown and try to make it a draw. I miss the no 1 Australia of past where they had complete dominance and went attacking even when the chips are down

  • POSTED BY LegSpinBowlr on | March 5, 2014, 19:49 GMT

    Not a convincing no 1 team SA, whenevr they are down in a test match, they tend to just shutdown and try to make it a draw. I miss the no 1 Australia of past where they had complete dominance and went attacking even when the chips are down

  • POSTED BY JFAB on | March 5, 2014, 23:06 GMT

    I love all the stats work - thanks. There is nothing you can do about it but I get frustrated at stats that are misleading. Philander's 'number 9' records are a perfect example. He did bat at 9 so the stats are true. He had the time and partner limitations of a number 9. BUT Philander is not a number 9 bat in terms of ability- he is a very good number 8. HE was only at 9 because of the use of night watchman. I wonder how many lower order batting records are held by players batting lower out of position (night watchman, injury or tactical switch), leaving those 'real' nines, tens and Jacks out in the cold. Oh well, that's stats I guess - but I still love 'em John

  • POSTED BY badyon on | March 5, 2014, 23:09 GMT

    All the stats for South African time wasting are hilarious. You forgot the stats for most time with 9 men on the boundary?

  • POSTED BY ShutTheGate on | March 6, 2014, 1:57 GMT

    Did this series break the record for the worst attended test series in South Africa as far as spectators at the ground?

    I'm guessing that day 1 on the MCG test on 26 December 2013, probably had as many or maybe even more spectates than all 13 days of this series. No wonder they can't afford a fielding coach.

  • POSTED BY Moppa on | March 6, 2014, 2:07 GMT

    The balls faced stats highlight how gutsy and determined South Africa were. Abbott, de Villiers, du Plessis, Philander and Steyn, and even Duminy, showed tremendous fight. They forced Australia to use every trick in the book to get home. As tight as it was, Australia generated enough chances to deserve the victory.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | March 6, 2014, 2:46 GMT

    SA cricket fans are probably the worst at saluting a champion player like Smith.. I remember being in Perth for Ponting's last test match.. everyday was a sellout.. the crowds seen over the last two days for Smith was just disappointing

  • POSTED BY wapuser on | March 6, 2014, 3:22 GMT

    South africa are pathetic. No wonder why no one turns up to watch them play when they just play for draws. Its so obvious why no one goes to see them. They were playing for the draw when clarke won the toss. South africa are a disgrace. If it wasnt for aus and india cricket definately would be dead. There is no way in hell ab devilliers is best batter in the world. David warner shits on devilliers. its so pathetic howthey think a draw is heroic. Its embarrassing for their country. If I ever see australia do that I would be ashamed of australia but australia will never do that.

  • POSTED BY valvolux on | March 6, 2014, 3:46 GMT

    Australia simply lifts a gear against South Africa as the stats show. You can forgive South Africa being beaten from 1992 - 2007, however even during the darker Australian period from 2008 - 2012, South Africa always struggled to put Australia away. In 2008 it took a 414 in the fourth dig to win the first test, they recovered from 7/184 still over 200 behind and were rescued from a duminy / steyn special to take the second. In 2012 they were saved by the rain in the first test, stonewalled a miraculous draw in the second and then even recovered from 6/75 in their first dig at the waca to eventually win comfortably. And of course they haven't managed to beat australia at home. This series needs a trophy and an extra test - the crowds in south Africa were terrible and they deserve a marquee series. I think for the time being drop India vs oz back to 3 tests...as that series is guaranteed to be 3-0 to the home team and has lost the magic of 10 years earlier.

  • POSTED BY __PK on | March 6, 2014, 3:49 GMT

    The SA TV commentators were fantastically biassed. Not criticising, I think it's fine, as long as you're positive with it, not negative. They described Philander and Steyn's innings as a possible redemption for the end to the 1st test v India, though. If anything a draw would have been compounding their sins.

  • POSTED BY AussiePhoenix on | March 6, 2014, 4:08 GMT

    I disagree with some of the praise for SA. Gutsy - NO. Determined - yes, stubborn - yes, but not gutsy. Gutsy would have been to go after the runs, back all the talent in your batting lineup, put pressure on the Oz bowlers. To deliberately not try to win is pointless. A purposeful draw is not a positive result. Why play the game if you don't want to win? If Australia bowled with the same approach as SA, just passing time, the whole last day would have been a sleep fest. Well done Australia. Old style cautious cricket loses to attacking Test cricket.