Australia one wicket away from beating South Africa in Durban
Australia 351 & 227 (Bancroft 53) v
South Africa 162 & 293-9 (Markram 143)
First Test, Durban, day four
Aiden Markram scored an impressive 143 while Quinton de Kock remained unbeaten on 81 for South Africa but Australia are just one wicket away heading into the final day from winning the first Test in Durban.
With South Africa down to 293 for nine, needing another 124 runs to win, the officials called off the play on the fourth day due to bad lights.
Earlier, Australia resumed the day with a score of 213 for nine and a lead 402. Pat Cummins (26) and Josh Hazlewood (9 not out) added 14 more runs to the overnight score before the former was snared by Keshav Maharaj (4-102), who claimed his fourth in the second innings and ninth in the game.
South Africa were left with a daunting target of 416 runs to chase in the final things and things did go their way as Dean Elgar (9), Hashim Amla (8), AB de Villiers (0) and Faf du Plessis (4) all were dismissed in single digits. De Villiers was run out after he was sent back by Markram after they aimed for a single at square leg initially.
South Africa headed into lunch with a score of 63 for four. On resumption, Markram went on to complete his half-century while Theunis de Bruyn (36) showed a lot of resistance in his 84-ball knock. de Bruyn was handed a reprieve in the 35th over when Tim Paine did not attempt a catch as the ball raced to the boundary through the slip cordon and he responded with back to back fours.
His 87 run stand with Markram resisted Aussie charge before Jos Hazlewood (2-57) returned to have de Bruyn caught behind but with Markram and de Kock (81 not out) playing positively, South Africa headed into tea with a score of 167 for five.
The attacking gameplay continued in the final session as well as the duo plundered 59 runs off the first 10 overs in the session and in the process Markram went on to notch his third Test century while de Kock completed a 63-ball fifty. As the duo started to look confident with their 147 run stand, the target came down under 200 and for the first time in the innings, Aussie looked on the backseat.
The resistance from South Africa finally ended when Mitchell Marsh (1-21) had Markram caught behind and Mitchell Starc (4-74) produced a brilliant three-wicket 80th over where he sent Vernon Philander (6), Maharaj (0) and Kagiso Rabada (0) back to the pavilion.
With light being a concern, Australia delayed the use of the second new ball and continued with the spinners and when the score was 293 for nine, the officials decided to take the players off the field. South Africa still need 124 runs to win on the final day with one wicket in hand.
© Cricket World 2018