Superb Australia win a thriller, square series

Johannesburg: Beleaguered Australians Brad Haddin and Mitchell Johnson helped steer their team to a dramatic two-wicket victory in the second test to level a memorable series against South Africa on Monday.

Australia were chasing 310 for victory on the final day at and had slipped to 215 for six when Haddin and Johnson, whose places in the team have been questioned in the media, added 72 off 81 balls to take Australia to the verge of victory.

Haddin scored 55 and was dismissed 23 runs shy of the target, quickly followed by Peter Siddle for four as South Africa fought back with all four results still possible in fading light at the Wanderers.

 Superb Australia win a thriller, square series

Cummins looks on as Johnson waves at the end of the fifth day of the second test between Australia and South Africa in Johannesburg. Reuters

But 18-year-old Pat Cummins, who had taken six wickets in South Africa's second innings, completed a dream debut by scoring 13 not out and hitting the winning runs as he pulled leg-spinner Imran Tahir over the infield for four.

Johnson finished on 40 not out, a commanding innings that came off just 47 balls and included six fours.

Seamer Vernon Philander had earlier made his mark with five wickets, but South Africa captain Graeme Smith replaced him with Tahir for what proved to be the final over.

No play was possible in Monday's first session because of rain, meaning the stands were largely empty for the tense finale.

South Africa won the first test of the two-match series in Cape Town where Australia were bowled out for just 47 in another enthralling encounter.

Scores:

South Africa 266 (J. Kallis 54, AB de Villiers 64, A. Prince 50) and 339 (Hashim Amla 105, AB de Villiers 73; P. Cummins 6-79) v Australia 296 (S. Watson 88, P. Hughes 88; D. Steyn 4-64) and 310-8 (U. Khawaja 65, R. Ponting 62, B. Haddin 55; V. Philander 5-70)

Reuters

Updated Date: Nov 21, 2011 21:19:43 IST