At Johannesburg, February 7, 8, 10, 11, 12. Australia won by ten wickets and made certain of the rubber. Once again South Africa's batting disappointed on an easy pitch and only by a single run did they avoid an innings defeat. Australia brought in Meckiff for Gaunt and Burger made his debut for South Africa, displacing Westcott.
Craig won the toss for the third successive time in Tests and the Australians did not take long to establish a strong position. They began slowly and after two and a half hours had scored no more than 52 for the loss of McDonald and Harvey. Craig made a wise move in promoting Benaud to number four and he and Burke thoroughly mastered the attack. South Africa were handicapped after lunch when Adcock retired with influenza and Heine reduced his pace because of ankle trouble. Benaud, after playing himself in, attacked the bowling and completed an excellent century before he skied a hook. Heine followed this success by causing Craig to play on and by the close Australia, 217 for four, had lost some of their advantage.
Burke, who played a sound defensive role in helping Benaud add 158, batted all day for 79 not out. Adcock was able to bowl next morning and at one time Australia were 234 for seven. Mackay and Davidson led the recovery with a stand of 81 and Meckiff also gave MacKay useful support.
South Africa lost McGlew in scoring 19 overnight and on the third day only Funston did well for them. Because of hand injuries to van Ryneveld and Waite, the batting order had to be changed, but even so the failures came as a surprise under such ideal batting conditions. That Tayfield, the night watchman, stayed three hours emphasised this fact. Burger helped Funston add 51 for the sixth wicket, but the bowling of Benaud, Kline, Meckiff and Davidson upset the others.
Following on 198 behind, South Africa scored seven without loss before the close and on the fourth day made a determined effort to save the game. They lost only two wickets, but added no more than 119 runs in five hours. McGlew refused to depart from rigid defence and his first 50 took five hours thirteen minutes, the slowest on record. Two fine slip catches by Simpson accounted for Endean and Goddard and South Africa began the last day 72 behind with eight wickets in hand. The match was over immediately after lunch, the remaining wickets falling for 72. McGlew batted six hours for 70 and Funston again made a gallant effort, but the other batsmen disappointed.