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Jul 19, 2012 at 10:45am IST

South Africa to play Australia at Gabba

Melbourne: South Africa will play their first Test at Brisbane's The Gabba ground in nearly 50 years when they take on Australia in the opener of a three-Test series beginning November 9, part of a 2012-13 home schedule that also includes Sri Lanka and West Indies.

Cricket Australia said on Thursday that the second South Africa Test will be from November 22-26 at the Adelaide Oval, followed by the third from November 30 to December 4 at the WACA Ground in Perth.

In the last Australia-South Africa Test played at The Gabba in December 1963, a Richie Benaud-led Australia drew with a South Africa team featuring six debutants, including left-handed batting ace Graeme Pollock. That match was also known for being Ian Meckiff's last after he was no-balled for throwing four times in his only over.

South Africa to play Australia at The Gabba

The series opener on November 9 will be South Africa's first Test at the venue in nearly 50 years.

South Africa beat Australia 2-1 when they last toured in 2008-09, and drew 1-1 with Michael Clarke's side when they met in a two-match series last year in Cape Town and Johannesburg. South Africa can go No. 1 in the Test rankings if they beat England in a three-Test series starting on Thursday in Britain.

Sri Lanka will play three Tests against Australia — December 14-18 in Hobart, the traditional Boxing Day match from December 26-30 in Melbourne and from January 3-7 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

If former captain Ricky Ponting plays all three Tests against South Africa, he will equal Steve Waugh as Australia's most-capped Test cricketer, and Ponting would then move ahead at his home ground at Bellerive Oval in Hobart. Waugh, a now-retired former captain, played 168 Tests for Australia while Ponting has played 165.

Australia's summer season continues with five one-day internationals and two Twenty20 matches against Sri Lanka in January, followed by five ODIs and one Twenty20 match against the West Indies in February.

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