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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 April 2006, 09:21 GMT 10:21 UK
Aussies win Johannesburg thriller
Third Test, Johannesburg, day five: Australia 270 & 294-8 beat South Africa 303 & 258 by two wickets

Brett Lee celebrates after hitting the winning runs
Brett Lee guided Australia to victory with an invaluable 24 not out

Australia held their nerve to wrap up a clean sweep against South Africa as they won the third Test by two wickets.

Damien Martyn, who resumed on 93, had time to bring up a century before he was trapped lbw by Shaun Pollock.

Makhaya Ntini then removed Stuart Clark but Brett Lee and Michael Kasprowicz saw Australia home on 294-8 with the injured Justin Langer not needed.

Australia had begun the day 44 short of their target with four wickets in hand but it was a tense finish in the end.

Lee and Kasprowicz did what they failed to do at Edgbaston during last summer's epic Ashes series, when England had won by two runs.

Langer was wearing batting gloves at the end, and Man of the Match Lee said the left-handed opener would have come out to bat at number 11 if necessary.

The Australian opener was concussed after being hit on the head by Ntini with the first ball of Australia's first innings.

It meant Australia went one better than they had managed in the three-match home series against the Proteas earlier this year, which finished 2-0.

South Africa - captained for the first time by Jacques Kallis in place of the injured Graeme Smith - wasted no time in taking the new ball when play got under way.

In Pollock's second over, Martyn brought up his hundred off the first ball, guiding it off the back foot through backward point for four.

The next delivery found the edge but fell just short of diving keeper Mark Boucher.

Two balls later Pollock launched a huge appeal for lbw, but umpire Steve Bucknor was unmoved, and the following delivery Martyn edged a ball which again darted away, the ball falling inches short of Kallis at second slip this time.

But Pollock finally got his man with the sixth and final delivery, nipping the ball back in at the elegant Australian right-hander for the second time in the over and pinning him in front of the stumps.

Bucknor, as is his wont, took an age to give the decision but eventually he raised his finger with Australia still 34 short of their target.

That brought Clark to the wicket and he had a few nervous moments before easing the pressure with a sumptuous back-foot cover-drive for four.

Three balls later he slashed at an over-pitched delivery and sent it scudding to the point boundary to reduce the target to 17, but he then threw his wicket away.

Ntini banged one in and Clark's ugly swipe only succeeded in sending the ball looping into the gloves of Boucher, giving Ntini his 10th wicket in the match in the process.

The match was back in the balance but Lee then produced two glorious cover-drives to reduce the target to four runs.

A couple of tight singles edged Australia even closer and Lee finished things off in style.

The usually metronomic Pollock pulled one down short and wide of the off stump and the batsman rocked onto the back foot to send a square cut racing to the boundary.


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SEE ALSO
South Africa set up tense finale
03 Apr 06 |  Cricket
Aussies struggle on day of drama
01 Apr 06 |  Cricket
Prince hangs on for South Africa
31 Mar 06 |  Cricket
Australia in South Africa 2006
31 Dec 05 |  Future tour dates


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