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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

AB de Villiers can punish rattled Australia

South Africa aiming to complete 3-1 win over scandal-hit tourists

AB de Villiers celebrates his century against Australia in the second Test in Port Elizabeth
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Fourth Test
Sky Sports Cricket, 9am Friday

Australia have been playing Test cricket since 1877 but rarely can the Baggy Greens have endured such a chaotic build-up to a match as the one they've had for the fourth Test against South Africa in Johannesburg.

After skipper Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and opening batsman Cameron Bancroft were suspended for their ball-tampering plot in the third Test, coach Darren Lehmann announced on Thursday that he is stepping down at the end of the series.

Tim Paine will captain the shell-shocked tourists at The Wanderers and the wicketkeeper is 4-1 to lead the Aussies to the victory they need to square the series.

Banned Steve Smith 4-5 to regain captaincy

Australia's nefarious attempts to gain an advantage in the third Test in Cape Town backfired spectacularly as South Africa completed a 322-run victory.

The prospect of a 3-1 series win, and the perfect send-off for retiring paceman Morne Morkel, should focus the Proteas' minds and their bowlers will be eager to attack a severely depleted Australia top order.

Matt Renshaw and Joe Burns – parachuted in as replacements, along with Glenn Maxwell – could form a new opening partnership for the Aussies but they face an unenviable task given the class of Morkel, Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada.

Australia still have their first-choice bowling unit available but they have struggled to knock AB de Villiers off his stride during this series.

The champion batsman has returned to South Africa's Test side in sparkling form with four first-innings fifties and an unbeaten 126 against Australia in Port Elizabeth in his last seven appearances.

De Villiers has scored three centuries and three fifties in his last seven Tests at The Wanderers and Betway's first-innings runs line of 34.5 looks well within his scope.   

AB de Villiers to score 35 or more first-innings runs
3pts 5-6 Betway

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De Villiers has scored three centuries and three fifties in his last seven Tests at The Wanderers
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