South Africa survive Australia onslaught as home side win series, David Warner, Usman Khawaja scoop awards

South Africa has valiantly held on to draw the third Test at the SCG with Australia claiming the series win 2-0.

With Australia needing 14 wickets on the final day of the rain-affected Test in Sydney, the green and gold only managed to take six as several South African partnerships stunted their momentum.

Usman Khawaja was awarded player of the match with his 195 not out the standout performance, while David Warner was named player of the series after his gutsy double century in Melbourne.

MORE: India vs Australia: Predicted lineups for 2023 Test cricket series

South Africa started day five at 6-149 and after Travis Head snared the wicket of Marco Jansen to make it 7-167, it looked like the visitors would fold.

But a gutsy 85-run partnership between Simon Harmer (47) and Keshav Maharaj (53) soaked up nearly 30 overs, making Australia’s mission to win even harder.

Australia eventually bowled South Africa out for 255 and immediately enforced the follow-on after their opposition fell 20 runs short of avoiding it.

Hazlewood was the pick of Australia’s bowlers with 4-48, while skipper Pat Cummins took 3-60.

But with only around 40 overs left to play, South Africa dug in during the second innings to finish 2-106 and earn a draw – avoiding a 3-0 series whitewash.

Cummins managed to snare the early wicket of his opposing captain Dean Elgar for 10, but the other South African opener Sarel Erwee (42) stuck around until stumps, soaking up 125 balls.

Heinrich Klaasen and Temba Bavuma both managed to stick around for nearly 20 overs each to ensure South Africa didn’t lose.

Australia will look to continue their strong form in the Test arena in February, with a four-game series scheduled away from home against India.

After making light work of West Indies and South Africa, the top-ranked Test side will face a much tougher task when they head overseas and look to win their first series in India since 2004. 

Pat Cummins will lead the Aussies in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, while the likes of Cameron Green and Mitchell Starc will be racing the clock to be fit for the series opener on February 9th.

KL Rahul is set to captain the host nation in the massive series, while the likes of Virat Kohli and a returning Jasprit Bumrah should also be in action.

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