Durban [South Africa]: Australia are on the brink of taking the lead in the four-match Test series after reducing South Africa to 293/9 at the end of day four’s play at Kingsmead in Durban.
After being assigned a mammoth target of 417, the South African top order collapsed spectacularly and were reduced to a lowly 49/4.
Opener Aiden Markram’s brilliant knock of 143, almost outscoring the home side’s entire first innings total, along with useful contributions from Theunis de Bruyn (36) and Quinton de Kock (81) provided some stability to the Proteas’ innings.
However, it did little to scare the Aussies, who were back in the game after Hazelwood sent de Bruyn on his way and Mitchell Marsh scalped Markram’s wicket.
The opener tried to guide a ball down to third man, but got a faint touch on it and sharp reflexes by wicketkeeper Tim Paine sent him back to the pavilion.
Mitchell Starc then took three quick-fire wickets in one over and sent Vernan Philander, Kagiso Rabada and Keshav Maharaj back to the pavilion. The latter two were clean bowled in consecutive deliveries.
It leaves South Africa in an improbable situation with only de Kock and Morne Morkel at the crease and 124 runs to chase.
Despite some positives that South Africa can take from the match, a lot of work needs to be done off the pitch as the Proteas will be looking to bounce back in the next match of the series to be held at St George’s Park, Port Elizabeth. (ANI)