Cummins stays cool to guide Australia home

 

Johannesburg

Teenager Pat Cummins followed up his six-wicket haul on debut with the winning boundary as Australia secured a drawn series against South Africa in a frantic finish.

The 18-year-old was a hero with the ball earlier in the match and came in to bat with Australia wobbling on 292 for eight, still needing another 18 runs. He rode his luck, offering Dale Steyn a caught-and-bowled chance, before pulling the match-deciding four.

At the other end, Mitchell Johnson finished unbeaten on 40, while Brad Haddin's 55 and 39 from Mike Hussey had earlier helped nudge Australia towards their target of 310. Australia lost the opener in the two-match series by eight wickets in Cape Town, but seized their chance to make up for that disappointment. Cummins could hardly have made a more spectacular debut, and was named man of the match for his achievements.

"Just to get a Test match is unbelievable. Obviously this is a great win today, this just tops it off," he said. "It was great to bowl them out and to contribute was even better."

The New South Wales paceman has no batting pedigree to speak of but did not let that unsettle him when Peter Siddle's tame dismissal brought him to the middle. Johnson looked secure, but the inexperience of Cummins versus the seasoned professionals in South Africa's attack looked like a no-contest. Steyn got half a hand to the chance Cummins offered him, but with five still needed, South Africa skipper Graeme Smith brought Tahir back into the attack at the expense of man of the series Vernon Philander.

The audacious move almost paid off three balls in when off-spinner Tahir thought he had Cummins lbw. South Africa unsuccessfully challenged the decision and after leaving the next ball, Cummins crunched the fifth of the over away through midwicket to the boundary for victory.

Australia had been 142 for three overnight but they lost captain Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting early after a washed-out morning session. Philander pinned Hussey lbw and at 215 for six the tourists were in trouble, but a partnership of 72 between Haddin and Johnson gave them hope before Cummins saw them home.

"It's not just opposition players, but the Aussie guys know how good he is," said Clarke. "It is about now managing Cummins and making sure he becomes one of the all-time greats."

South Africa 266 & 339 Australia 296 & 310-8

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn