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Proteas steamroll Aussies to level series

The Aussies were set 448 for victory after Graeme Smith declared on 270 for 5 before lunch.

Australia's cricketer Chris Rogers reacts after falling for 107 runs during the second test match South Africa vs Australia at St George's Park in Port Elizabeth on February 23, 2014. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The Proteas took 10 wickets in the final two sessions of day four in the second test against Australia at Axxess St. George's in Port Elizabeth on Sunday to win the match by 231 runs and level the series one-all.

The Aussies were set a target of 448 for victory after Proteas captain Graeme Smith declared on 270 for five before lunch.

Openers David Warner (66 off 73 balls) and Chris Rogers (107 off 237 balls) got Australia off to a good start before the visitors lost all 10 wickets for 90 runs in 44 overs.

Rogers was ninth man out as a result of a direct hit by substitute fielder, Alviro Petersen.

The key period was the 10-over spell when Dale Steyn, with good support from Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel, led the attack as five wickets fell for just 14 runs.

A key factor throughout the match was the ability of the South African seamers to get reverse swing reasonably early in both innings and there is no finer exponent of this skill than Steyn.

Steyn picked up four wickets while Vernon Philander took two. Morne Morkel, JP Duminy and Dean Elgar all chipped in with one each.

As well as Steyn led the attack during the decisive final session it was a good all-round bowling effort, particularly following the injury that cost them the services of Wayne Parnell for most of the first innings and the entire second innings.

The match looked like it was going to be decided on the final day, but the umpires allowed an extra eight overs of play to see if there will be a result.

And then, in what was probably the final over of the day as the umpires had the light meters out, Dean Elgar trapped Nathan Lyon lbw and it was all over.

JP Duminy was named man of the match for his century in the first innings.

The Proteas also come out of the match with their batting line-up looking more solid than ever on the back of centuries by Hashim Amla (his 21st), AB de Villiers (his 19th) and JP Duminy, not to mention the impressive way that Dean Elgar handled the Mitchell Johnson new ball factor.

The two teams now head for Sahara Park Newlands for what should be an epic series-decider from Saturday 1 March.

The Western Cape faithful may have lost out on a New Year Test match but they have certainly now got the plum fixture of the season that is going to attract an audience way beyond the boundaries of this country.