Australia Fight Back But South Africa Take Control
Australia endured a battle on day three of the first Test against South Africa, twice having to dig deep to fight back to keep themselves in the game.
The scoreboard read 284 for two after Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla hit centuries for South Africa but three wickets from James Pattinson helped Australia dismiss the Proteas for 450. Then, when their turn came to bat, the home side collapsed to 40 for three but closed on a steadier 111 for three.
Bookmakers bet365 now make the home side 8/5 to fail to reach a score of 310, 7/4 to score between 310 and 390 and 7/4 to better 390.
The day began with South Africa continuing where they had left off on day one - the second day having been lost to the rain - and Amla soon reached his 17th Test century.
He would not go much further, however, after he was trapped in front by Peter Siddle for 104, leaving Kallis to advance to Test century number 44, with excellent support from AB de Villiers (40) until he fell, caught by Rob Quiney off Pattinson for 147.
De Villiers was Pattinson's third and final victim and Australia then took charge, not allowing the lower order to get anything more than starts, aside from Jacques Rudolph, whose 31 came from 69 balls.
Vernon Philander (11), Dale Steyn (15) and Rory Kleinveldt (17 not out) did their best, Morne Morkel failed to score and JP Duminy was absent following his injury after the close of day one.
Pattinson returned three for 93 and there was a brace apiece for Ben Hilfenhaus, Siddle and Nathan Lyon.
Australia's reply got off to a dreadful start. Warner made four before Kallis' inability to be kept out of the game for long gave him a catch off Steyn.
Debutant Quiney made nine in 12 balls, including his maiden Test boundary, before he was caught by Steyn off Morkel and Ricky Ponting registered a five-ball duck, also falling to Kallis' bucket hands- this time Morkel the delighted bowler.
Ed Cowan and Michael Clarke came together with their side in need of a substantial partnership and they started to lay the foundations.
Cowan was marginally the more circumspect but the pair counter attacked, taking on debutant Kleinveldt and his three overs disappeared for 27 - figures that would likely not see you kept on in a Twenty20 match, let alone a Test match with the opposition under pressure.
Cowan struck eight fours, reaching stumps on 49 in 74 balls while Clarke fairly hurried to 34 in 57 deliveries with five fours. Much rests on them, Michael Hussey and Matthew Wade on day four to keep the Proteas at bay.
© Cricket World 2012
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