Aussies prove they're worth the no 1

Published: Tuesday, March 3, 2009, 11:30 [IST]
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Johannesburg: Australia defeated South Africa by 162 runs on the last day of the opening cricket Test in Johannesburg.

Starting the morning on 178-2, the home team faced a target of 454, a record if victory had been achieved. Even after early wickets fell, the Proteas still had prospects of saving the game before crumbling in the afternoon session. They finished on 291.

First to go today was Hashim Amla for 57, caught by Phillip Hughes at short square leg off the bowling of Peter Siddle. AB de Villiers -- 104 not out in the first innings -- could only add three, and Jacques Kallis made 45 before he was bowled by Mitchell Johnson.

JP Duminy and Mark Boucher dug in for the Proteas and lasted 21 overs together before Siddle struck again, having Duminy caught by Australia captain Ricky Ponting early in the afternoon session.

Johnson took his third wicket of the innings when he had Morne Morkel caught by Hughes for two, and Boucher was out for 24, bowled by Ben Hilfenhaus.

Siddle and Johnson wrapped up victory with the wickets of Paul Harris and Dale Steyn just after tea. Johnson finished with 4-112 and Siddle 3-46.

Australia made totals of 466 and 207, the Proteas replying with a first-innings 220.

The second Test in Durban starts on March 6.

Australia would keep the No. 1 ranking it"s held since June 2003 by avoiding defeat in the best-of-three series, while South Africa would take over the top spot with a victory.

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