Amla knock gives SA command

Hosts push Australia to the wall with a massive 369 runs lead on third day

Amla knock gives SA command

Hashim Amla’s blistering stroke-play and Morne Morkel’s fearsome bowling put South Africa in control of the second Test against Australia as they closed the third day on 192 for four on Saturday.

The Proteas led by 369 runs with six second-innings wickets remaining and two days to go on a ground where the highest score chased down for victory was 271 by Australia in 1997.

Amla will resume on 93 not out with 21-year-old debutant Quinton de Kock on nine.
Amla’s positive stroke-play against all the Australian bowlers helped South Africa score at more than four runs an over and accelerated the game forward after a slow first two days.

Australia did make inroads into the top order, Graeme Smith (14) failing again after being bowled by Mitchell Johnson off the inside edge. Johnson also accounted for AB De Villiers (29).

Peter Siddle weighed in with two wickets, Dean Elgar (16) and Faf du Plessis (24), both caught behind by Brad Haddin.

Fast bowler Morkel proved the catalyst for a sizeable South African lead as his fiery bowling helped restrict Australia to 246 in their first innings.

Having resumed on 112 for four, Australia battled to contain a rampant Morkel, who landed a number of sickening body blows to the body, including one into the side of the helmet of Johnson.

Morkel claimed three wickets in the innings, but his two spells of fearsome shot-pitched deliveries had the Australian hopping around the crease.

The tourists resumed on 112 for four and Morkel terrorised nightwatchman Nathan Lyon (15) by landing some sickening body blows.

David Warner decided scoring would be easier at the other end and he chased a wide Vernon Philander delivery, edging the ball to Smith at first slip with his score on 70.

Lyon’s stomach for the fight against Morkel had gone and the South African got his man when the batsman backed away as he attempted to leave a rising delivery and ended up playing the ball on to his stumps.

Dale Steyn removed Haddin (nine) with a superb off-cutter that nipped back into the batsman and found the gate between bat and pad to smash into middle stump.
There will have been some satisfaction for the South Africans late in the session when a Morkel delivery crashed into helmet of Johnson, who had put Ryan McLaren out of this Test with a similarly sickening blow in Pretoria.

Johnson (27) looked unsettled and was bowled by part-time off-spinner JP Duminy shortly afterwards.

Steve Smith (49) was controversially given out caught behind by AB de Villiers off Morkel when South Africa reviewed a not out decision and there was little evidence to suggest the batsman had hit the ball.

Third umpire Aleem Dar thought he heard an edge, however, and overturned the decision.
Ryan Harris (26) and Siddle (11 not out) put on 37 for the final wicket before the former edged Morkel to Du Plessis at second slip.

Wayne Parnell, who took two wickets in his first over of Test cricket in four years on Friday, limped off the field with a left groin strain and will not bowl again in the Test.

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