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South Africa in control despite Australia fightback

PTI
NEWS
News
157   //    01 Apr 2018, 20:29 IST

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Johannesburg, Apr 1 (AFP) South Africa moved into a powerful position despite a fightback by Australia and an injury to fast bowler Morne Morkel on the third day of the fourth Test at the Wanderers Stadium on Sunday.

South Africa were 58 for one at tea, an overall lead of 325.

The hosts, leading the series 2-1, did not enforce the follow on despite bowling out Australia for 221 and taking a first innings lead of 267.

Australian captain Tim Paine, who was last man out for 62, and Pat Cummins, who made his maiden Test half-century, kept South Africa in the field longer than expected. They shared a seventh wicket stand of 99 - Australia's best partnership of the series.

Paine took over the captaincy after skipper Steve Smith and deputy David Warner were sent home for ball tampering in the third test. He was batting with a hairline fracture of his right thumb, sustained while keeping wicket on Saturday.

Morkel broke down with a side strain as South Africa toiled in search of a breakthrough, leaving the field two balls into his fourth over of the day.

A South African team spokesman said the injury was in the same area that he damaged in a Test against Bangladesh in October, keeping him out of action for two months.

But after being strapped up, Morkel bowled a few gentle deliveries to coach Ottis Gibson during lunch and took the field with the rest of the team after the interval, giving hope that he may be able to bowl in the second innings, even if it is not at full pace.

Despite conditions seemingly being ideal for bowling on a heavily overcast morning, Paine and Cummins defied the South African bowlers until shortly before lunch after resuming on a precarious 110 for six.

Cummins made 50 off 92 balls with six fours and a six before missing a sweep and being leg before wicket to left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj.

Australia lost their last three wickets for 20 runs in five overs after lunch, with Paine falling to a diving catch by Dean Elgar in the deep off Kagiso Rabada after a 96-ball innings which included seven fours and two sixes

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Press Trust of India (PTI) is a news agency in India
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