Australia bowlers struck early at the end of day three as they dismissed South Africa captain Dean Elgar to surge ahead in the game as the visitors trail by 371 runs in the Boxing Day Test here at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Wednesday.
After David Warner took the honours on the second day with his double hundred, Alex Carey played a memorable inning to make the Boxing Day Test special for himself after the left-hander smashed his maiden test hundred.
Despite the favourable batting conditions, Elgar was unable to benefit from them as he gloved Pat Cummins on the third ball he faced. Replays revealed that Carey took a good catch low to the ground as the edge faded on him, sending Elgar back for a duck. Elgar was removed in this way for the second time in the series after also being caught down the leg in Brisbane’s opening innings.
Australia resumed the third day at 386/3 and racked up 189 runs in 54 overs on a cloudy day. Carey and Cameron Green, who overcame a fractured finger, added 117 runs for the eighth wicket against an increasingly worn-out attack.
Australia were not bowled out by South Africa despite bowling 145 overs over the course of more than five sessions on a surface that was favourable for batting.
Carey (9) and Travis Head (48*) started the inning for the hosts but Nortje struck twice in the third over of the day. The pacer was on a hattrick after he removed Head (51) and Warner (200) to jolt the hosts early on the third day.
Australia captain Pat Cummins departed early after adding just four runs to the team’s total.
Nathan Lyon played a quick-fire inning of 25(17) before being dismissed by Lungi Ngidi leaving Australia at 440-7.
Green then walked out to bat despite an injured finger to help Carey become the second wicketkeeper after the great Rod Marsh to score a Boxing Day Test century.
The all-rounder also braved his pain to grab a half-century. Carey and Green were peppered with short balls as the visitors grew desperate to get a wicket.
Carey was finally dismissed for 111 (149) and walked to the pavilion to a standing ovation from the Melbourne crowd.
Captain Pat Cummins soon declared the inning with Australia taking a massive lead of 386 runs.
South Africa began their tall task to overcome the mammoth first-inning total of Australia but were off to a horrific start as they lost Elgar in the second over of the day off Pat Cummins.
Theunis de Bruyn 6(18) and Sarel Erwee 7(21) took the visitors to stumps on day four with the score reading 15/1.
Earlier David Warner’s double hundred propelled Australia to 386/3 against South Africa putting them in command at the end of the second day of the Boxing Day test at Melbourne.
Head remained unbeaten at 48 (48) while Carey scored 9*(22) at the end of the day. Australia ended the day with 386/3 with a sizeable lead of 197 runs.
Brief Scores: Australia: 575/8d (David Warner 200, Alex Carry 111; Anrich Nortje 3-92) against South Africa: 189 and 15/1 (Theunis de Bruyn 6* and Sarel Erwee 7*; Pat Cummins 1-0). (ANI)
This report is filed by ANI news service. TheNewsMill holds no responsibility for this content.