Australian pacers pin SA on the mat

Australian pacers pin SA on the mat

Graeme Smith made three in his final Test innings as South Africa were slipping towards a heavy defeat at the close on the fourth day of the series-deciding third Test against Australia on Tuesday.

Chasing a victory target of 511, the hosts will resume on 71 for four wickets on the final day despite a valiant effort from AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla who survived 31 overs before the latter was out 20 minutes before stumps.

South Africa had lost openers Smith and Alviro Petersen (nine), as well as Dean Elgar (nought), as Australia were rampant before tea. Smith flicked a rising Mitchell Johnson delivery on to his thigh and the ball looped gently to Alex Doolan at short leg, an inglorious end for one of the game's greats who was given a guard of honour by the touring side as he came out to bat.

De Villiers has survived 100 balls for his 16 with all thoughts of scoring gone and survival the only thing on his mind. He and Amla added 53 for the fourth wicket off 184 balls, a stand ended when Amla was trapped leg before wicket.

De Villiers will resume on Wednesday with nightwatchman Kyle Abbott (one).