Day five’s play did not extend beyond the first session as Vernon Philander ripped apart the Australian batting in no time at all. Chasing 612 runs to equalize the Test series, Australia found itself all out for 119 thus losing the Test match by 492 runs. The losing margin is fourth highest in Test cricket history (by runs) and highest since 1934. South Africa also completed their first series win against Australia at home since re-admission with a scoreline 3-1.
Resuming day five on the score 88/3, Shaun Marsh suffered the same fate that Jeet Raval faced against England today morning in Christchurch – out on the first ball. Vernon Philander snapped up the other Marsh within next three balls to reduce Australia to 88/5 and the signs for the rest day were clear.
Sticking to his relentless line, Philander soon raced to his 13th five-wicket haul in the Tests also completing his 200 wickets in Test cricket. He dismissed Australia’s 8th and 9th number batsmen on consecutive balls to give himself a chance of hattrick and a quick win for South Africa. His bowling figures of the spell at that time read as 5.2-2-3-6!
The only fighting stand of the day came from Nathan Lyon and Josh Hazlewood who scored 9 runs each which became the third highest individual score of the innings. Morne Morkel, playing his last international cricket match, was given the ball to earn the honor of taking the last wicket. The last wicket, nevertheless, was picked up in Morkel‘s over, it was a run-out.
— ICC (@ICC) April 3, 2018
Vernon Philander, who ended with the match figures of 51/9 was awarded the Man of the Match while the highest wicket-taker in the series Kagiso Rabada was honored with the Man of the Series award. The series which began positively for the Australian camp has ended on the gloomiest note possible. As the Australian Test captain remarked in his post-match conference “Hopefully, we can rebuild a new culture.“