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Rabada help South Africa keep Australia in check heading into fourth day

Kagiso Rabada picked three wickets in the second innings
Kagiso Rabada picked three wickets in the second innings

Australia 243 & 180-5 (Khawaja 75) v
South Africa 382 (de Villiers 126no)
Second Test, Port Elizabeth, day three

After AB de Villiers slammed a 126-run knock to help South Africa post 382 runs, Kagiso Rabada claimed a three-wicket haul to keep Australia in check at 180 for five at stumps on day three of the second Test in Port Elizabeth.

Earlier, South Africa started the day with a score of 263 for seven, leading Australia by 20 runs. Vernon Philander (36) started the proceedings with a couple of boundaries in the second over.

De Villiers (126 not out) showed his class with two more fours in the 103rd over from Josh Hazlewood (2-98) and soon entered the 90s. However, his 84-run stand for the eighth wicket with Philander ended when he was caught brilliantly by Cameron Bancroft off Pat Cummins (3-79).

Two deliveries later, de Villiers hit a boundary to complete his century off just 117 deliveries but the counterattack came from Keshav Maharaj (30) as he smashed three boundaries and two sixes in his 24-ball knock.

Even though Maharaj was castled by Hazlewood, de Villiers batted through to take the total to 382 in 118.4 overs.

Trailing by 139 runs, Australia started their second innings cautiously scoring eight runs off the first five overs. Rabada provided the first breakthrough when he castled David Warner (13) in the 10th over.

Usman Khawaja (75) and Bancroft (24) consolidated the innings with a 25-run stand before the latter was dismissed by Lungisani Ngidi (1-21). Steven Smith (11) started the innings positively with a six and a four in the 18 deliveries he faced before edging a delivery from Maharaj (1-70) behind the stumps and Australia headed into tea with a score of 86 for three.

The second delivery of the final session saw Shaun Marsh (1) nick a delivery from Rabada behind the stumps. Just as South Africa sensed an opening, they were stalled by 87 run stand for the fifth wicket between Khawaja and Mitchell Marsh (39 not out).

Khawaja completed his half-century as Australia went past the deficit and soon claimed the lead. Just at the stroke of stumps, it was Rabada once again made an impact on what will be his final game of the series when he trapped Khawaja LBW restricting Australia to 180 for five at the end of the day.

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