Australia goes one-up

Australia has taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match series after defeating South Africa by 184 runs in the second Test at the MCG.

The Proteas resumed at 99-6 chasing 366 for victory after the Australians ripped through their batting order in the final session of day four, before the tourists barely survived the morning session as they went to lunch at 180-9.

Makhaya Ntini was the last man out in the first over after the break - the South Africans all out for 181 leaving all-rounder Shaun Pollock - who was the only batsman to put up any long-term resistance - unbeaten on 67.

Australia set up the win with a strong performance with the bat on day four that saw the hosts declare at 321-7, 40 minutes before tea after starting the day at 110-2.

A barnstorming 124-run partnership between Matthew Hayden and Andrew Symonds off just 93 balls was the highlight, with Hayden (137) scoring his 25th Test century and Symonds belting six sixes along the way to his highest Test score of 72.

But while the second innings put Australia in a strong position, it drove home the advantage with a devastating final session with the ball.

Shane Warne and Symonds did the damage with three and two wickets respectively - Warne finishing the innings with 4-74 off 28 overs and Symonds 2-6 off four. Glenn McGrath was also productive taking 3-44 off 15 overs.

The story may have had an entirely different ending but for the 10th-wicket heroics of Michael Hussey and McGrath in the Australian first innings. The pair came together with the score on 9-248 and confounded the South Africans with a 107-run partnership with Hussey (122) reaching his third Test ton and later named man of the match.

The Proteas made a good start in their first innings - they were 183-2 at one point - but failed to capitalise on that solid foundation and were bowled out for 311 in reply to the home side's 355. Herschelle Gibbs top-scored with a hard-fought 94.

Symonds and Brett Lee - who bowled with particular venom - were the chief wicket-takers in that innings with figures of 3-50 and 3-92 respectively.

South Africa's cause was not helped by the loss of paceman Makhaya Ntini who bowled just eight overs in the Australian second innings after sustaining a knee injury.

The third Test starts on Monday at the SCG in Sydney.

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