Durban - Morne Morkel took three of the six wickets he needs in his
farewell series to join the 300 club as the Proteas made a
creditable fightback on the third day of the first Test against Australia
at Kingsmead on Saturday.
As it happened: Proteas v Australia, Day 3
On another day shortened by bad light Morkel took 3/42 in
13.4 overs to take his career total to 297 while Keshav Maharaj took 3/93 in 28
overs to give him eight dismissals in the match.
AB de Villiers had another
busy day in the slips and has now taken five catches in the match.
The pick of the bowlers was arguably Kagiso Rabada who was
both economical and penetrative in taking 2/28 in 13 overs.
The ninth wicket fell to Dean Elgar who has remarkably dismissed
Australian captain Steve Smith twice in his career as Australia reached the
close on 213/9.
The visitors are nevertheless in an enormously strong
position with an overall lead of 402 runs and, with two full days still to go,
and, allowing for the uncertainties of bad light at this particular venue, they
must still be the favourites to go one up in the series.
The Australians made a bright start to the day as David
Warner and Cameron Bancroft put on 56 for the first wicket in only 13 overs but
the Proteas still managed to take three wickets in each session, pulling
Australia back by taking 3/63 in the second session and 3/38 in the shortened
final session after the visitors had got away with 122/3 in the morning session.Bancroft’s 53 (83 balls, 10 fours) was the only
half-century of the day and it underlined the magnitude of the task facing the
Proteas on days 4 and 5.