Embattled Australian openers survive pace onslaught to tea
Cape Town, Mar 25 (AFP) Embattled opening batsmen Cameron Bancroft and David Warner survived a challenging 70 minutes against South Africa's fast bowlers today after Australia were set a target of 430 runs to win the third Test at Newlands.
Australia were 47 for no wicket at tea on the fourth day after bowling out South Africa for 373 in their second innings.
Bancroft, fined 75 percent of his match fee and handed three demerit points by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after admitting to tampering with the ball on Saturday, was on 22 not out.
Warner, who agreed to step down from the vice-captaincy after Australia's "leadership group" was implicated in the ball-tampering scandal, made 25 not out.
The pair's defiant batting provided some cheer for the Australians after South Africa added 105 runs to their overnight total of 238 for five, taking the match beyond the realistic reach of the tourists.
Australia were captained by wicketkeeper Tim Paine after Steve Smith, like Warner, agreed to stand down.
Smith will miss the fourth and final Test after being suspended for one match and fined 100 percent of his match fee for what the ICC described as "conduct of a serious nature that is contrary to the spirit of the game", following his admission that as captain he was party to the attempt to tamper with the ball.
Shortly before tea, umpire Nigel Llong spoke to South African captain Faf du Plessis and wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock. It appeared to be a serious conversation but it was not clear what it was about