Australia on their second innings lead by 41 runs and their top five is down as per now. The hosts continued their advantage over the visitors on the third day as well.
Earlier in the day, the Australians with the new ball in the hand had their chance to wrap up the final three protea wickets. But looked like the bowlers had to run for shelter themselves.
South Africa 1st Innings:
De Villers and Philander, in pursue of maximising the South African lead of 20 runs at the start of day 3, started steadily. It was de Villiers who did much of the scoring, but Philander played his shots with flair too.
In their brisk partnership of 84 off 138, Philander made 36 before he was dismissed by Cummins, caught at short leg by Bancroft, a well-planned dismissal. In the same over, de Villiers played an upper cut over slips to reach his test century number 22, a very well deserved one. Maharaj came to the crease and immediately lofted Lyon to deep midwicket boundary, where Khawaja, in attempt to complete a catch, got his feet over the ropes and couldn’t release the ball quickly, giving Maharaj a revival and 6 runs.
Maharaj didn’t stop there, as he then launched over Aussie prime, Starc, smashing him for 3 boundaries in an over. He failed to connect a heave against Hazlewood and was bowled. The brisk partnership of 58 from 43 balls ended, and Maharaj’s share was 30.
Image: De Villiers scored an unbeaten century.
Lungi Ngidi came in and survived the bowling, but after de Villiers played a few scoring shots, Smith’s direct hit to run out Ngidi halted the proteas innings for 382, a lead of 139 as lunch was taken.
Australia 2nd innings:
Australians looked steady and careful, but Rabada looked like bowling for everything. He ran uphill the George’s park slope and delivered a fanatstic spell, and dismissed Warner through a blazer through off stump. Bancroft looked decent before he edged a Ngidi delivery to his stumps, and soon after that, Maharaj got the prized wicket of Steve Smith, edging to the Keeper. Rabada came in and dismissed Shaun Marsh edging to keeper, and the Aussies looked reeling.
In at number 3, Khawaja was batting all the way through with his sweeps, reverse sweeps and classy drives. He found his partner in Mitch Marsh as they made the Proteas attack toil hard.
Image: Khawaja made the bowlers work hard
Their 87 run partnership in over 30 overs grinded the Proteas, but in the penultimate over of the innings, Rabada came in back and got Khawaja lbw for his brave innings of 75, to still keep the inroads wide enough for South Africa.
Australia now lead by 41 with M Marsh at 39 and Paine at 5, as they try to lengthen their innings.
Off the field, Kagiso Rabada will await a decision over his future on this series for an aggressive celebration and shoulder brush on the first innings with Steven Smith. Rabada could miss the rest of the series which would be a massive loss for South Africa.