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South Africa v Australia
Newlands, March 22-26, 2018
3rd Test - South Africa v Australia Test Series 2018
|South Africa 1st Inn||311 all out|
|Australia 1st Inn||255 all out|
|South Africa 2nd Inn||373 all out|
|Australia 2nd Inn||107 all out|
|South Africa won the toss and elected to bat.|
|South Africa win by 322 runs|
|Australia||Over: 39.4 RR: 2.35|
|Last Wicket:||J.R. Hazlewood, 5 (c. Philander b. Morkel) - 10/107|
A Pat Cummins inspired Australia fought back late on the first day of the third Test against South Africa at Newlands and will look to seize control of the match on a pitch offering little for the bowlers. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage of Day 2 from 7:30pm (AEDT).
South Africa controlled most of Day 1, but failed to drive home their advantage as they lost 6 for 37 in a horror 21 over stretch to stumps.
Pat Cummins was the chief destroyer, getting the old ball to sing. So well was it working for him, Aussie captain Steve Smith didn’t take the second new ball until the 85-over mark with the Proteas slumping to 8 for 266 at stumps.
It’s well below par, given how the pitch played, but South Africa were patient throughout the day and it backfired on them with less runs on the board than they should have when the collapse hit.
Cummins ended up with 4 for 64 for the day, but one expects spin will play more and more of a role in the match as it goes on.
The shining light for the hosts was Dean Elgar, who went to stumps with 121 not out. AB de Villiers contributed well with 64, but his wicket sparked the collapse as the Proteas fell in a heap.
It’s not the first time it’s happened in this series, with the effort reminiscing of the one in Durban where Mitchell Starc knocked their middle order and tail over. While the old ball reversing has implications for the difficulty of batting, there is going to be plenty of time for the Aussie top order to make runs.
The Australians do need a first innings lead though. Batting in the fourth innings on this wicket will be anything but easy, so being ahead of the game could well decide whether they win or not.
The first step to continuing the momentum gained at the end of Day 1 will be getting rid of Elgar – or Rabada and the recalled Morne Morkel at the other end. Every run from this point will frustrate the Aussies and make their task harder, so getting the remaining two wickets quickly is key.
Elgar, on the other hand, needs to bat well with the tail, get the shine off the second new ball and then look to be aggressive for an hour or so to get the Proteas to a par score.
It’s hard to see that happening though, with the writing on the wall. It’s then down to the Aussie top order, who, if they can see off the new ball, will take full advantage.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of Day 2 from 7:30pm (AEDT) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.