Harris hailed as Oz hero

2014-03-06 10:27

Sydney - Ryan Harris was acclaimed on Thursday as one of Australia's finest bowlers after spearheading his country to a dramatic late series victory over South Africa in Cape Town.

The Australians won the third and final Test by 245 runs in a nailbiting finish with just 27 balls to spare after a day of epic home resistance.

Veteran paceman Harris bowled Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel in the space of three balls as Australia won the match as well as the series by two Tests to one.

"Late-bloomer Ryan Harris entrenched his reputation as one of the finest bowlers seen in Australia since at least the turn of the century by delivering the two wickets Australia needed to win the deciding Test and claim the series," Fairfax Media's Jesse Hogan wrote.

The victory ensured that Australia's record of never losing a series in the republic remained intact in the seven series since South Africa returned from sporting isolation more than two decades ago.

It was also the first time South Africa, the world's top-ranked team, have lost a series anywhere since they were defeated by Australia five years ago.

"Harris was indeed the hero, coming back for a last bowling spell with 30 balls left. He defied his injury-ridden body to spear a yorker through Dale Steyn's defence for one and then two balls later take Morne Morkel's wicket," The Australian's Peter Lalor said.

"Harris, who finished with 4-32, will head home to have an operation on his knee that he delayed to play this series," he added.

The victory gave captain Michael Clarke seven wins from eight Tests following a 5-0 whitewash of England, and moved Australia to second on the International Cricket Council rankings ahead of India.

Clarke later tweeted: "Not really sure how to describe the last 6 months!!! Thank you to the Aussie Team, Staff, Family, Friends and all of our supporters. @darren_lehmann we did it coach!!!!"

The Sydney Daily Telegraph's Malcolm Conn said he was concerned that South Africa may repeat its Adelaide great escape of last (southern) summer, when they lasted more than nine hours and kept out 148 overs to finish on 8-248.

Hogan added: "Australia's hopes of claiming victory surged after it removed the two stonewallers of Adelaide in 2012, A.B. de Villiers and (Faf) Du Plessis, at either end of the second session to ensure the Proteas' tail was exposed for the entire last session.

"It took until the last half-hour of the last session, but Australia finally banished the demons of Adelaide with a stunning victory in Cape Town."


  • Harris Philip - 2014-03-06 11:20

    Australias performances against England and South Africa can well be measured by the players / coaches removed from the Test scene : Pietersen Swann Trott Flower (coach) Kallis (not prepared to be humbled by Johnson) Smith Who is next ?

      Michael Morris - 2014-03-06 13:02

      And then you woke up with your dcik your hand.

  • Shaun Naidoo - 2014-03-06 11:47

    There is nobody else in that squad besides AB that has the balls to do anything. They are a waste of time and it is a shame that people still waste their hard earned money to see these loosers.

      Percy Van Zyl - 2014-03-06 12:39

      Yes, that is why they are ONLY number 1 ranked in the world. Chop!

      Harris Philip - 2014-03-06 12:55

      Unfortunately rankings are historical ...they tell you how well a team HAS performed in the past .....they are not an indicator of current status. Our Proteas (right now) clearly are NOT at the level of Australia

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