South African captain Faf du Plessis was not out on 34 at the end of the day’s play in Johannesburg.
South African captain Faf du Plessis was not out on 34 at the end of the day’s play in Johannesburg.

Ruthless Proteas ground Aussies into dust

IF there was any interest left in the cricket in this series the South African side killed it on day three by not enforcing the follow on, not playing a shot and not giving any thought to people who wouldn't mind a bit of entertainment.

The home side bowled Australia out for 221, but decided to bat again despite having a lead of 267.

That would have been fine if they put the foot down and set a decent chase, but instead they crawled along at snails pace.

Dean Elgar scored 39no from 158 balls. At times there were concerns he may have passed away at the crease, but occasional movements stopped any intervention from the concerned emergency medical team.

Faf du Plessis may have wanted another hit seeing as he has barely scored a run all series and he did get to 34no at stumps but got another whack on his injured finger during the innings.

Pat Cummins was again superb for the beleaguered Aussies.
Pat Cummins was again superb for the beleaguered Aussies.

The South Africans are 3-134 from 56 overs - a lead of 401.

Another factor in the decision not to declare was, no doubt, a side strain to Morne Morkel which caused him to leave the field earlier in the day.

Australia's bowlers are having a tough time of it. Chadd Sayers' first two spells consisted of one over each, the South Australian expensive in both overs.

He ended the day with 0-33 from eight, Elgar and du Plessis ensuring his economy rate improved. If Sayers is to get on the plane to England he might want to pick up a few more wickets before the home side declares.

It was another tough day at the office for Nathan Lyon.
It was another tough day at the office for Nathan Lyon.

Josh Hazlewood is wicketless in the match.

Pat Cummins continues his love affair with the ground, taking 2-35 to go with his five-wicket first innings haul and half century earlier in the day.

Tim Paine scored 62 to give the Australian innings some respectability.

Paine brought up his fourth half century slogging Keshav Maharaj over cow corner for six soon after lunch.

Cummins, Nathan Lyon and Sayers had fallen in quick succession, but the new Australian captain finally got there with Josh Hazlewood at he other end.

Tim Paine led from the front.
Tim Paine led from the front.

It was a terrific effort by the keeper who has been batting through the discomfort of a thumb broken on the second day while he was keeping.

Former Aussie skipper Mark Taylor believes Paine should hang on to the captaincy he was granted during the recent crisis.

"He's the permanent solution," he said.

"Right now, he's the 46th Australian cricket team captain."

Dean Elgar spectacularly ends the Aussie innings.
Dean Elgar spectacularly ends the Aussie innings.

"I think one of the reasons he found his way into the Test team was because he's a bit of an old-fashioned type cricketer. There was a lot of chat before last year's Ashes where we talked about Peter Nevill and we talked about Matthew Wade.

"The selectors saw Tim Paine, they got him into a match against England, a lead-up match, and they said that's the sort of guy we want in and around this team, a bit more of an old world thinker, more of a level head. We've seen how things can change very quickly."

South Africa 488 (A Markram 152, T Bavuma 95no; P Cummins 5-83, N Lyon 3-182) and 3-134 (D Elgar 39no, A Markram 37); Australia 221 (T Paine 62, U Khawaja 53; V Philander 3-30, K Rabada 3-53, K Maharaj 3-92)



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