Pacemen put Australia in charge

Written By Unknown on Senin, 03 Maret 2014 | 23.41

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MICHAEL Clarke will be looking to declare for the second time in two days as Australia presses for a series victory in the third and final Test at Newlands.

With the series tied at one-all Australia will resume on Tuesday on 0-27, a lead of 234 with two days to play.

Australia's cause has been helped by a hamstring strain to the world's best fast bowler, Dale Steyn, but he bowled a few warm-up deliveries before Australia's second innings and then joined his teammates during the 20 minutes South Africa was in the field on Monday evening with the hope of bowling on day four.


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Clarke continued his tradition of refusing to enforce the follow-on despite bowling South Africa out for 287, giving Australia a lead of 207. At the beginning of the day Clarke declared on Australia's overnight score of 7-494, leaving him on 161 not out.

At 6-146 it appeared South Africa would be bowled out cheaply but a fighting 67 from Faf du Plessis and some rearguard batting from Vernon Philander (37 not out) and Steyn (28) boosted the score.

Du Plessis had plenty of good fortune, including being missed twice in one over off spinner Nathan Lyon when wicketkeeper Brad Haddin fumbled a stumping chance and Alex Doolan missed a difficult catch at short leg.

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The South African batsman also received a collective gob full from the Australians after picking the ball up and tossing it back to bowler Mitchell Johnson.

Johnson enhanced his standing as the leading bowler in the series, finishing with 4-42 from 19 overs to continue a long, golden summer. He has 19 wickets for the series at an average of 15 after claiming 37 wickets at 14 in the Ashes.

His new ball partner, Ryan Harris, was also vastly improved after a slow start to the tour, claiming 3-63 from 22 overs.

The veteran paceman conjured the ball of the match with late reverse swing to bowl the dangerous Hashim Amla for 38 as South Africa's batsmen crumbled.

Harris claimed three of the first six wickets to fall, removing Amla and JP Duminy during a wonderful exhibition of reverse swing bowling.

Australia's pace bowling was a welcome change from the second Test in Port Elizabeth, where they were impotent while South Africa was devastating with reverse swing.

Ryan Harris celebrates after dismissing Graeme Smith. Source: AFP

Harris claimed his first wicket in just the third over of the day when he had South African captain Graeme Smith caught behind for 5, continuing his poor series with the bat.

Smith has scored just 42 runs at an average of eight with a top score of 14.

After exceptional back to back Ashes campaigns Harris has struggled to get going in this series, looking for all the world like a 34-year-old fast bowler with a long injury history.

He had been down on pace and often began spells with juicy short balls outside off stump which were easily dispatched. This explained series figures of just three wickets at an average of 74 going into this match.

But from the outset of South Africa's innings Harris's pace was up and his accuracy was impeccable, constantly asking questions of the batsmen.


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