Australia’s ‘day of shame’ ends in 322-run rout by South Africa in controversial Cape Town Test

South Africa's Morne Morkel celebrates taking the wicket of Australia's Mitchell Starc. (REUTERS)
Updated 25 March 2018
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Australia’s ‘day of shame’ ends in 322-run rout by South Africa in controversial Cape Town Test

CAPE TOWN: Australian cricket’s day of shame ended in a crushing 322-run defeat by South Africa on the fourth day of  the third Test at Newlands on Sunday.
Set an unlikely 430 to win, Australia were bowled out for a paltry 107, with fast bowler Morne Morkel taking five for 23.
It was a fittingly dismal end to the match for Australia after they were caught up in a ball-tampering scandal on Saturday which sent shockwaves through the sport.
Skipper Steve Smith was subsequently banned for one match by the ICC, just hours after he and vice-captain David Warner had stood down from their positions for the remainder of the match.
“It’s been a horrible 24 hours — I want apologize to our fans and those back home,” said stand-in skipper Tim Paine.
The Australians had already woken to bruising criticism from their own chief executive and prime minister, as well as condemnation from around the cricket world.
It followed the admission by Smith and young batsman Cameron Bancroft that they had deliberately tried to change the condition of the ball on Saturday.
The day seldom got any better.
Tim Paine and his bowlers could not stop South Africa from taking their second innings total to 373.
Embattled opening batsmen Bancroft and Warner weathered a challenging 70 minutes before tea at the start of their second innings before the run-out of Bancroft sparked a collapse in which all ten wickets fell for just 50 runs in 19.3 overs and 99 minutes.
Bancroft fell to a direct hit from midwicket by South African captain Faf du Plessis after being called for a risky single by Warner.
Three overs later Warner edged Kagiso Rabada to AB de Villiers at third slip.
Both Bancroft and Warner were booed as they left the wicket but the near-capacity crowd’s jeers grew in volume when Smith walked out — and there were more boos after he was caught at gully off Morkel for seven.
It was Smith’s last appearance in the series after being banned for one match for his role in the scandal, which means he will miss the fourth and final Test in Johannesburg, starting on Friday.
During Smith’s short stay at the wicket, two wickets fell off successive balls from left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj, with Usman Khawaja caught at slip off a ball that went straight on and Shaun Marsh prodding one which turned and bounced out of the rough to short leg.
The collapse continued when Mitchell Marsh and Pat Cummins fell to successive short-pitched balls from Morkel.
Mitchell Starc was hit on the helmet by another bouncer from Morkel. Two balls after a lengthy delay he gloved another lifter to short leg.
Nathan Lyon was run out without facing a ball as Paine tried to keep the strike and Josh Hazlewood was caught at third man to end one of the most humiliating episodes in Australia’s cricket history.


Unai Emery wants Arsenal to treat Al-Nasr friendly as if it was a Premier League clash

Updated 42 min 25 sec ago
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Unai Emery wants Arsenal to treat Al-Nasr friendly as if it was a Premier League clash

  • Gunners to open Al-Maktoum Stadium with friendly against Dubai side.
  • Emery calls for focus ahead of such for Champions League spot.

LONDON: Unai Emery has told his Arsenal team to take today’s friendly against Al-Nasr seriously as they aim to grab a top-four spot in the Premier League.
The north London side are in Dubai for warm-weather training during the international break. They currently lie fourth in the Premier League and would qualify for the Champions League if they were to stay there. And Emery wants Mesut Oil and Co. to treat the Al-Nasr match as if it was a key clash in the battle for a European spot.
“For us it’s very important to continue being competitive in each match,” the Gunners boss said.
“It’s a friendly against Al-Nasr, but we can use different players and take more confidence and rhythm for the next matches that are coming. And the first of that is against Newcastle.
“If we were in London, then we would have been doing the same things that we are doing here.
“The main thing for us is to have the continuity going into this friendly match where all of our players get an opportunity (to play).
“We need to give the players a platform to remain confident and keep their rhythm heading into the remainder of the season.”
The players have been out and about in Dubai trying to get some relaxation in before the final straight of the season. They have been spotted on a bus tour of the emirate, visited the Dubai Frame and four players — Rob Holding, Danny Welbeck, Hector Bellerin and Petr Cech — visited a children’s hospital to dish out gifts.
Of the trip to Dubai Emery added: “The atmosphere is continuing like in London and we’re also enjoying a big city and the very kind people with us. They’re giving us all the good things to continue our work.
“We are happy to see our fans and happy with our work here with the big facilities.
”And in preparing also for the match on Tuesday with Al-Nasr and enjoying the city. We are also very happy with all the people who are giving us everything to make it easy to work and to stay here.”
The Gunners will face Benat San Jose’s Al-Nasr side to officially open Al-Maktoum Stadium — which was refurbished for the Asian Cup.
Emery will be without a number of first-team faces, with many currently on international duty. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mohammed Elneny just four of the names who will be missing.
The lack of many first-team regulars means Emery has a chance to look at some young players as he readies the squad for the last two months of the season. Of all the top-four hopefuls — the Gunners are battling it out with Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester United — Arsenal’s run-in is the easiest. They no longer have to face any top-six side and, but they do have five away games out of their remaining nine matches.
Of the training in Dubai striker Alexandre Lacazette added: “It’s interesting for the club. We have to say thank you. For us, it’s a pleasure to play in this match.”