Proteas

Proteas strike as Morkel reaches 300

2018-03-23 15:13
Morne Morkel celebrates 300 Test wickets (Gallo)

Cape Town - Morne Morkel picked up two key wickets to make history on Friday as the Proteas made serious strides towards taking control of the second Test against Australia at Newlands.

LIVE: SA v Australia - 3rd Test, Day 2

At tea on Friday, Australia were 150/5, 161 runs behind South Africa's first innings total of 311. 

Along the way, Morkel became just the fifth South African in history to take 300 Test wickets. It was sweet moment for the 33-year-old, who has announced that he will be retiring from international cricket at the end of the series. 

Having resumed after lunch on 67/2, Australia needed a big session to get ahead in the game. 

Captain Steve Smith was always going to be considered crucial to that cause, but he was out for just five when Morkel had him caught by Dean Elgar at gully. 

Having already removed Usman Khawaja before lunch, that left Morkel on 299. He was bowling with a good rhythm and mixing up his lengths well, but Newlands would have to wait a while longer to celebrate as Faf du Plessis brought Kagiso Rabada back into the attack. 

Cameron Bancroft, meanwhile, was going nicely at the other end and he brought up his third Test 50 off just 59 balls. 

Together with Shaun Marsh (26), Bancroft put on 78 for the fourth wicket. 

It was Morkel who put a stop to what was turning into a dangerous partnership, and when Quinton de Kock took the catch behind the stumps Newlands erupted. 

Morkel was swamped by his team-mates as the fans gave him a standing ovation, and his walk down to fine leg at the end of that over will be one that he remembers for a long time. 

Bancroft was looking good for a maiden Test ton, but Vernon Philander had him trapped LBW for 77. 

Philander had been the only economical Proteas seamer on the day, and he had his reward in his 12th over. 

That wicket, on the stroke of tea, has given the hosts a timely boost going into the evening session.

 

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