South Africa vs Australia 3rd Test: An inspired bowling spell by Pat Cummins late in the day led Australia’s terrific comeback after Dean Elgar’s sterling century had given South Africa a solid start. The hosts finished the day at 266 for eight wickets down with Dean Elgar not out on 121 runs. The fact that South Africa lost their last five wickets in the span of 37 runs ensures that it is Australia who will be the happier team at stumps on day one.
After winning the toss, South Africa lost Aiden Markram in the fourth over of the innings with the team score of just six runs. Markram was taken by Steve Smith on the bowling of Josh Hazlewood.
That was the only celebration Australia had in the first session as Hashim Amla tagged with Elgar and kept Australia wicket-less for 28 overs. Amla scored 31 runs with the help of three boundaries and looked good before his miscued pull shot ended as a simple catch to Cummins at fine leg on the bowling of Hazlewood.
The next batsman AB de Villiers looked in complete control and batted with finesse to push South Africa to a strong position. He looked set for a big score but in the 63rd over, he tried to drive Cummins on the leg-side and ended up offering a catch to David Warner at mid-on. ABD scored a quick-fire 64 runs and added 128 runs with Elgar for the third wicket.
After that, South Africa’s middle order collapsed and the hosts gave away the opportunity to consolidate their strong position. Cummins accounted for Faf du Plessis, Temba Bavuma and Quinten de Kock in quick succession while Mitchell Marsh removed Vernon Philander. Mitchell Starc dismissed Keshav Maharaj to further inflict the damage on the hosts as Elgar watched all this helplessly from the other end.
Elgar stood solidly from the first ball of the day and even when wickets fell quickly in the last session, he didn’t budge. He played with authority and survived the odd brilliance created by Aussie bowlers with his gritty defense.
Cummins finished the day with four wickets while Hazlewood grabbed two.