South Africa vs Australia, 4th Test, Day 2, Johannesburg:SA486/8

01 April, 2018, 02:18 | Author: Elena Meyer
  • Australia's Glenn Maxwell

Earlier in Sydney, deposed vice-captain Warner said he realised he may never play for Australia again as he tearfully apologised over the ball-tampering scandal.

The Australian fightback was launched by Pat Cummins (3/53) who has been consistently their best bowler and their leading wicket-taker when he dismissed Markram and Du Plessis with successive balls.

The Proteas hold a 2-1 series lead and are perfectly placed to record their first home Test series win over Australia since the end of apartheid.

Aiden Markram (152) is the top-scorer in the innings after his fourth test century in 17 innings, while AB de Villiers struggled by his free-flowing standards to 69.

The lethal threat, though, was opener Aiden Markram, who began the day by capably handling the new ball and whose confidence only grew as the contest wore on, knocking fours and a single six.

South Africa lived up to its promise to be ruthless against an Australia without captain Steve Smith, vice captain David Warner, and batsman Cameron Bancroft, all banned long-term for cheating in the third test last weekend.

Debutant Sayers found movement - and earned comparisons to Vernon Philander due to his pace and bowling style - but couldn't find a first Test wicket.

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Any hopes that Bavuma might get the five runs needed for his deserved ton were ended with the very next ball when Morne Morkel edged to Peter Handscomb at second slip.

That only brought de Villiers to the crease, however, and he combined well with the increasingly confident Markram to put on a 105-run partnership. Both Burns and Renshaw had been batting in Brisbane on Tuesday, rushed to South Africa, and were in the Test team by Friday, and if that was flawless preparation for a Test then everyone would do it. He edged just short of the slips off Sayers and survived an lbw review from Cummins, but he largely batted serenely, looking especially fluent through the offside.

Despite a strong start by the hosts as they reached 247/2, Australia fought back late in the day to take the wickets of Markram, Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers in the space of 52 runs.

Sayers took the new ball and followed suit, his first Test delivery a bouncer at Dean Elgar - but at a more modest 124 km/h. The opener taking calculated risks and playing well-controlled shots.

In the first innings in Cape Town, he hauled a dominant South African position back with a four-wicket burst in an epic eight-over spell.

Bavuma and De Kock initially showed patience with the bat, with the former adding just a single run to his overnight score of 25 in the first hour of play.


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