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Proteas on course for series win after Australia collapse

353   //    31 Mar 2018, 21:51 IST
Vernon Philander - cropped
South Africa all-rounder Vernon Philander

Vernon Philander put Australia in deep trouble after Temba Bavuma was left stranded agonisingly short of a century as South Africa took a strong grip of the fourth Test on day two at the Wanderers.

Bavuma, making his return after two months out with a fractured finger, deserved a second Test hundred but was left unbeaten on 95 when the Proteas were bowled out for 488 on Saturday.

Keshav Maharaj (45) made his highest score in the longest format in a ninth-wicket stand of 76 with Bavuma before Pat Cummins (5-83) finished off the innings to claim his second five-wicket Test haul.

The tourists were reduced to 38-3 after Joe Burns, Matt Renshaw and Peter Handscomb - recalled following suspensions handed out to Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft for their part in the ball-tampering scandal - fell cheaply.

Usman Khawaja made 53 before he became Philander's third victim (3-17) and troubled Australia collapsed to 110-6 at stumps - trailing by 378 - and looking set to suffer a 3-1 series defeat a week on from the Newlands debacle.

Captain Tim Paine suffered a blow to the right thumb standing up to Chadd Sayers and South Africa lost just one wicket in the morning session after resuming on 313/6.

Quinton de Kock (39) played with freedom while Bavuma got his eye in, the wicketkeeper-batsman looking ominous before top-edging a Nathan Lyon (3-182) delivery to give Mitchell Marsh a straightforward catch.

Bavuma used his feet superbly against Lyon and reached his half-century off 120 balls before South Africa took lunch on 400-7, the diminutive batsman then having a stroke of luck when he was put down by Burns at short leg.

Maharaj took a liking to Lyon, launching his fellow spinner for two huge sixes over midwicket and timing the ball exquisitely before falling to Cummins.

There were no signs of nerves in the 90s for Bavuma when he reverse-swept Lyon for his 13th boundary, but he missed out on three figures when Cummins removed Morne Morkel - playing his last international - first ball.

Australia were in the mire when Burns (4) edged Kagiso Rabada to a diving Faf du Plessis in the slips and fellow opener Renshaw edged behind with a loose stroke, before Handscomb tamely played on to gift Philander a second wicket in as many balls.

Khawaja played with great composure, finding the boundary with glorious drives and looking comfortable until he was strangled down the leg side off Philander.

De Kock appeared to be stung by a bee behind the stumps in the final session but it was Australia who suffered further pain when Mitchell Marsh chopped a Morkel delivery on and Maharaj got rid of his brother Shaun late in the day.

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