There's Cummins and there's goings! Australia have levelled the series. Tahir loses control and delivers a marginally short ball, and Cummins carts it away through midwicket for four. That huge smile is in place, Cummins pumps his fists and runs into Mitch and gives him a bear hug. Langer and the rest of the Aussie balcony go up in unison. Australia are back ...... and the series is over.
Australia hold nerve to win thriller
Right, that winds up our coverage of the most outrageous Test series we have seen in a while. Firdose Moonda and Brydon Coverdale must be dazed at the end of it all, but I trust they will soon be in a position to send us insights, comments and plenty of analysis. On behalf of the gang, this is Nitin Sundar checking out. I really am out of words now, and my fingers are hurting. As Vincent Vega would have said it, "Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go home and have a heart attack."
Clarke: "What an amazing series for all the supporters of Test cricket. Some ups and downs through out the series, but it has been really exciting. I was yelling and carrying on like an absolute goose, but we were cheering every run. It is about now managing Cummins and making sure he becomes one of the all-time greats. We are working our backsides off and trying our best, but what a performance today .. I am proud of the boys. Tremendous courage and great batting from Ponting, it is great to have him around."
"I have to give a 10 minute speech on Australia's Constitution in 12 hours, but I have barely started because of this match. I stand by my choice." Wow, Caillan.
Smith: "The last few series we have played with Australia have been good adverts for Test cricket, and it was no different this time. They played really well today. It is wonderful to see Test cricket played like this, but right now there is disappointment with the result."
Vernon Philander is Man of the Series. "There were huge expectations from me, and I enjoyed it. The conditions here had a little more overhead than Cape Town, but not very different otherwise."
Pat Cummins is Man of the Match, no surprises there. And Mike Haysman asks him about the 13 runs, not the six wickets! "Mitch asked me to keep a cool head, and I took that for swinging," he says with that unbelievable grin. "Great to bowl them out yesterday, and to contribute was even better. I was looking up to Sidds and Johnson through out for support and they bowled beautifully."
You thought Cape Town was extraordinary? Johannesburg suppressed a quiet snigger and gave us this. How does one even begin to explain what we have seen today! Australia were down for the count, with Ponting, a shade of what he used to be, trying hard to piece together an innings. He got partial redemption, but couldn't finish things. Haddin got redemption, but still SA seemed set to take the win. Mitch had his redemption too, but it was down to that giggly babyface of a champion in the making to seal the win. What. A. Game.
"Productivity at work hit an all time low because of this thrilling test!! Long live test cricket!," says Rene.
Sidvee tweets the way only he can: "What a finish! Test cricket is thriving. The series is over! Test cricket is dead." A two-Test series. What a cruel joke!
"Oh my god! Is this the most remarkable test match in history? Khawaja's first 50, Ponting, Haddin under IMMENSE pressure, then Johnson, Philander getting second 5 for in a row, and the 18 year old sensation with the winning runs after a 6 for! THAT'S why these two are the best cricketing nations," says Timmy.
"Absorbing contest...in the end, how crucial was Australia's first innings lead of 30" - that came from Grant.
"Just saw the tour schedule which reads Aus.. SA.. Aus.. SA.. Aus.. SA.. Aus.. Incredible." - that's just a given when these teams play, eh Jagadesh.
Meanwhile, India slip back to second in the Test championships table, while SA have gone down to third.
I have seen everything now! Cummins leaves a ball barely half a foot outside off. No. 10 on debut leaves a ball alone. In this situation. Test cricket, you little beauty!
Huge appeal for lbw, given not out and it is referred. Googly from Tahir, it lands well outside off but turns in sharply. Cummins did well to thrust the front pad outside the line, though he missed it. Two reds light up, but he was hit a couple of inches outside the line! Lyon has a minor heart attack in the dressing room! Spare a thought for him!
The field comes in as if this is a grand vulture party. Slip and short leg are the catchers, and there's short cover.
too short, Mitch quietly goes back in the crease and pushes a single into the covers. Four to win!
Round the stumps now.
googly on off stump and breaking away, Mitch quietly plays it to the off side.
Where did this come from? Imran Tahir has a ball. Boy, this is more bizarre than that spaceship landing we were taking of. Five to win, the field is back, there's a slip. Over the stumps. He did run through the tail last time around ...
beaten outside off now Is there anything else that can happen in this over? Typical Steyn ball, shapes in, lands on off stump and lurches away. Cummins drives down the ground, but the ball keeps going away and misses the edge.
boy, he's the Dr. Jekyll and the Mr. Hyde of batting! Short ball outside off, he goes for a mindless pull and misses this time.
another short ball. Cummins is too tall to be bounced out, he again stands tall and forces it down to the leg side.
They are taking for ever setting the field. Short leg is Amla, as a run-saving position almost. Two slips too.
beaten outside off! Cummins attempts a big booming cover drive now, but the ball lands wide and keeps swinging away past his shot. Five to win, they are a shot away now.
dropped! Dropped by Steyn! The world's best fast bowler drops the most promising young fast bowler. What a moment! Full ball on off stump, Cummins was early on the drive and went hard at it, it flew past Steyn to his left. He couldn't get the hands around in time. Tahir ran back all the way and put in the slide, but he couldn't save the boundary cleanly.
wide of off stump, it swings away from there but Cummins seems to have some idea of which ones to play at. He leaves this one.
Cummins wasn't even close to being born when the last of the two tied Tests was played ... Here we go, Steyn runs in.
full ball on the pads, Cummins keeps his cool once again and works a single off the pads. The target is down to single figures.
Australia have 300! Mitch gets width outside off and drives square for a controlled single to the deep.
Mitch gets two more, Vernon is looking for the outside edge as he angles one across, and Mitch laces it into the covers for a couple. Morn is not nearly quick enough to cut the second run.
on the pads now, Cummins keeps his cool to works it around wide of mid-on for another single.
Vernon thuds the bouncer in too short, Boucher takes off into the sky to collect it and save some extras. It is called a wide.
a pearl of an outswinger, completely wasted on Cummins. Landed on a length outside off and went away as if inspired by drugs! Cummins was at least a foot away from edging it, though he played a proper air stroke.
short ball from Vernon, he's looking to bounce Cummins out now, but Cummins stays on the back foot and plays to the leg side.
Philander continues... Boy, what a Test match this is! Four seasons of the IPL couldn't provide anything like this.
leading edge, and it nearly goes all the way to the cover boundary! Cummins was looking to drive, but the ball seemed to deviate away from the straight and took the edge to bound away towards deep cover. Despite Mitch's problems, they get three, which means Cummins will face ...
fast and short, aimed at the ribs, and Cummins does really well to climb atop the bounce and play it down to the leg side.
Cummins walks out on debut, he's played one Test but already has a lot to tell his grandkids about his Test career. Three slips.
|New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg|
|Toss||South Africa, elected to bat first|
|Player Of The Match|
|Player Of The Series|
|Series result||2-match series drawn 1-1|
|Match number||Test no. 2018|
|Hours of play (local time)||10.30am start, Lunch 12.30-13.10, Tea 15.10-15.30, Close 17.30|
|Match days||17,18,19,20,21 November 2011 - day (5-day match)|
Cummins confident despite long lay-off
Australia in South Africa, 2011-12
Amla and Philander finish top of the class
Young Cummins stands out for Australia
|MG Johnson||not out||40||47|
|PJ Cummins||not out||13||15|
|Extras||(b 1, lb 7, nb 7, w 4)|
|Total||310(8 wkts; 86.5 ovs)|