Australia win first Test

Johannesburg, March 2:

Australia bounced back from a home series defeat when they beat South Africa by 162 runs on the fifth day of the first Test today.

South Africa survived until after tea on the final day before being bowled out for 291. Their resistance was worn down by accurate, disciplined Australian bowling. Left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Johnson sealed the win when he bowled Dale Steyn eight balls after tea. Man of the match Johnson finished with 4-112. He took 4-25 in the first innings and also made 96 not out.

While Johnson was the main strike bowler, he received excellent support from fellow seam bowlers Peter Siddle (3-46), Ben Hilfenhaus (2-68) and Andrew McDonald (1-31).

Australia were beaten 2-1 in a home series against the same opponents earlier in the season. They need to win or draw the return three-Test series to retain their International Cricket Council Test championship.

A young and inexperienced Australian team, which included three new caps, set up the win by dominating the first three days. The tourists recovered from 38-3 and 182-5 to reach a first innings total of 466, then bowled out the hosts for 220.

South Africa fought back in the second innings but had an almost impossible mountain to climb. South Africa started the day on 178, still with an outside chance of chasing a target of 454.

For the first hour, Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis batted solidly. But then Amla clipped (57) a ball from Siddle to midwicket. First innings century-maker AB de Villiers made only three before he was trapped leg before wicket by the persistent medium-pacer McDonald.

The key breakthrough came in the third over with the second new ball when Kallis (45) was bowled off an inside edge by Johnson. In Johnson’s previous over, Kallis was given out by umpire but Kallis asked for a referral and was reprieved by TV umpire Asad Rauf because the ball pitched marginally outside leg stump.

Kallis scored 40 off 85 balls before Amla’s dismissal but then went into survival mode. He faced another 54 balls in scoring five more runs before he drove at a wide ball from Johnson, which deflected into his stumps off an inside edge .

JP Duminy and Mark Boucher survived for more than 20 overs before Duminy (29) was caught at second slip off Siddle. Morne Morkel was caught off a weak pull shot for the second time in the match, giving Johnson his third wicket of the innings, before Boucher (24) was bowled off an inside edge by Hilfenhaus.