Proteas in complete control against Australia at Wanderers

01 April 2018 - 17:42 By Mahlatse Mphahlele
Faf du Plessis of the Proteas during day 3 of the 4th Sunfoil Test match between South Africa and Australia at Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on April 01, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Faf du Plessis of the Proteas during day 3 of the 4th Sunfoil Test match between South Africa and Australia at Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on April 01, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

South Africa have all but shut Australia out of this fourth Test match and a historic 3-1 series victory is within touching distance.

Proteas reached stumps on day three at the Wanderers on Sunday on 134/3 after 56 overs and leading by 401 with opener Dean Elgar and Faf du Plessis on respective scores 39 and 34 and a partnership of 40.

It was not immediately known at the close of play whether Du Plessis will declare overnight and sent the Australians to chase on Monday but whatever happens on the fourth day‚ the Baggy Greens have all to do to rescue this Test match and force an unlikely 2-2 draw.

Whatever target the Proteas are going to set‚ the Aussies will have achieve something they have failed to do the entire series as their highest second innings score is 239 they managed during the six wickets loss in Durban.

The first wicket to fall for South Africa was opener Aiden Markram‚ who became the second fastest South African after Graeme Smith to reach 1000 Test runs‚ on 37 when he was caught by Peter Handscomb from Pat Cummins.

Markram’s dismissal left him with 480 runs from eight innings‚ the highest score of 152 he scored on day one here on Friday and he is almost guaranteed to end as the leading scorer and he is serious contender for the player of the series.

He was later followed by Hashim Amla‚ who worryingly managed only 196 runs in his eight innings‚ having scored 16 runs when he was caught by Mitchell Marsh from the bowling of Nathan Lyon but Proteas will not be bothered as they are well and truly in command.

Du Plessis arrived on the crease after De Villiers was caught behind by stand-in captain Tim Paine from the bowling of Cummins who has been Australia’s best player on this troubled tour where Steve Smith‚ David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were banned for ball-tempering.

De Villiers ended with 427 runs from eight innings‚ the second most for him in any Test series after the 460 he scored in four matches against West Indies 2005.

After lunch‚ Proteas bowled out Australia for 221 after 70 overs leaving them trailing by 267 runs after Kagiso Rabada accounted for the wickets of wickets of Lyon on 8 and stand-in captain Tim Paine after a gallant knock of 62 while Keshav Maharaj removed Chadd Sayers without scoring.

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