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Rabada banned for rest of Test series after leading South Africa to victory

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South African fast bowler Kagiso Rabada has been found guilty of bumping Australia's Steve Smith on day one in Port Elizabeth, and will miss the rest of the Test series.

Rabada was charged with a level two offence after he made contact with the Australian captain after taking his wicket on the opening day of the second Test.

Rabada already had five demerit points on his record, and the three-point penalty for the offence means he incurs an automatic two-match ban.

This means the Proteas' star paceman will miss the final two Tests of the series in Cape Town and Wanderers in Johannesburg.

The firebrand fast bowler recorded match figures of 11-150 to help South Africa win the second test in Port Elizabeth on Monday and level the series at 1-1.

With matches to come on hard tracks in Cape Town and Johannesburg, he had the potential to lead his side to a first home series victory over the Australians since 1970.

External Link: Cricket Australia tweets: Will Proteas star Kagiso Rabada find himself in trouble for this incident on day one? #SAvAUS

A contrite Rabada admitted he let his team down, saying, "it's going to have to stop".

"I have to move forward. I have to see it as a big learning curve and not repeat the same mistake. I am not happy about it but time moves on," he told reporters on Monday.

"There are a lot of grey areas but rules are rules. The reason why we went for a hearing [on the Smith charge] was because we believe that there's not a lot of consistency. If I knew I did it deliberately, I wouldn't have gone to contest.

"I didn't even feel contact in that moment because I was so pumped up. It's the same as with Lord's — I didn't try and appeal [the charge] because I knew I did it."

Rabada said he let his emotions get the better of him, though his celebrations on Monday were noticeably more muted.

"I don't know what I am thinking actually. To be honest, I just let it out," he said.

"It's a big series, there is a lot to play for. There's a whole lot of emotion and pride. You don't want to roll over. You want to get them out. It's competitive."

The hearing was held after play on day three, and match referee Jeff Crowe handed down his verdict on Monday evening (AEDT).

ABC/Reuters

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