Australia cricket in limbo

CAPE TOWN – Australia’s cricket crisis was laid bare yesterday when captain Steve Smith and deputy David Warner resigned in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal that has rocked the game before the team suffered a 322-run defeat by South Africa in the third Test.

It meant the surreal sight of wicketkeeper Tim Paine leading Australia as stand-in captain, with Smith and Warner having to deal with an incredibly difficult day as jeers and whistles from South African fans reverberated around the Newlands ground.

Having been set 430 to win, Australia were bowled out for 107 runs inside 40 overs as they lost 10 wickets for 57 to add to their woes in a test that ranks among the most miserable in their 142 years of playing the longest format of the game.