SA clinch series with emphatic win


November 16, 2016

HOBART, Australia (AP):

South Africa clinched their three-Test series in Australia with a match to spare yesterday, leaving Steve Smith's team facing the prospect of an unprecedented sweep on home soil after yet another woeful batting performance.

With the 177-run win in Perth and the innings-and-80-run victory in Hobart, South Africa secured their third consecutive Test series win in Australia following victories in 2008-09 and 2012-13 and handed Smith a fifth straight Test defeat as Australia captain.

The Australians were ranked No. 1 until being swept 3-0 in Sri Lanka in July. South Africa entered the series without inspirational captain A.B. de Villiers, were ranked No. 5, and lost strike bowler Dale Steyn early in the opening match in Perth.

Yet it's the Australians who are in disarray.

Selectors are scrambling to assemble a team that can bat for a day in time for the third Test, a day-night match that starts November 24 in Adelaide. It's only the second day-night Test ever played in Australia, 12 months after a low-scoring win over New Zealand in the first.

Australia have never been swept in a Test series on home soil, and are in grave danger of ending that streak.

Scores: South Africa 326 (Quinton de Kock 104, Temba Bavuma 74; Josh Hazlewood 6-89) def. Australia 85 (Steve Smith 48 not out; Vernon Philander 5-21) and 161 (Usman Khawaja 64, David Warner 45; Kyle Abbott 6-77, Kagiso Rabada 4-34).

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