CAPE TOWN Australia's dramatic collapse against South Africa at the weekend has drawn inevitable comparisons with their previous test defeat but vanquished coach Darren Lehmann says the two losses were vastly different.
South Africa grabbed nine wickets in a single session after tea to win the second test in Port Elizabeth on Sunday - some six months after England had done the same to Australia in Durham to clinch their home Ashes series.
But Lehmann said while they tossed away hopes of a win in England in August, collapsing from 120 for one at tea to lose by 74 runs less than a session later, there was little they could have done about the weekend's crushing loss.
They slumped from 141 for one at tea to 216 all out at St George's Park after an inspired Proteas bowling display.
"It did take me back to Durham," he said of the 231-run loss to South Africa, a result that ended a run of six successive test wins for Michael Clarke's team including the first test and an Ashes whitewash Down Under.
"The pleasing thing is that at least we got bowled out, if that makes any sense," he told reporters as Australia travelled to Cape Town on Monday for the last of their three-match series against the top ranked test team, which starts on Saturday.
"In Durham we played poor shots and made poor decisions to lose the test. In Port Elizabeth, at the end of the day, we got absolutely flogged."
Stuart Broad was their tormentor last August with 6-50 but on Sunday it was the turn of Dale Steyn to punish the Australians with a wicked spell of reverse swing bowling as he grabbed four wickets in the final session on the fourth day.
(Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Mark Meadows)