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23-Mar-2018 16:34:00 GMT
SA v Aus, 3rd Test, Cape Town, day 2

Lower-order reduce Australia deficit, but South Africa on top

Australia 245 for 9 (Bancroft 77, Morkel 4-87, Rabada 3-81) trail South Africa 311 (Elgar 141*, de Villiers 64, Cummins 4-78) by 66 runs

Cape Town: At stumps, called 10 minutes early due to bad light for the second consecutive evening, Australia were 245 for 9, trial by 66 runs.

The second day at Newlands six years ago was unforgettable. Four innings in one day, South Africa rolled for 96, then Australia humiliated for less than half that. Nathan Lyon top scored for Australia from No.11.

The difference in day two, 2011, and day two, 2018, could be neatly summed up by the fact that this time around, Lyon scored as many on his own as Australia's entire team did back then: 47. And yet, if it wasn't a car-crash-like pile-up of wickets, there were still reasons to remember this day's cricket.

It began with Dean Elgar becoming the first man in Test history to carry his bat through an innings twice in the same year, and also joining Desmond Haynes as the only men to have carried their bat three times in a Test career.

It continued with Kagiso Rabada winning a breathless mini-battle with David Warner, and progressed further with Morne Morkel becoming the fifth South African to take 300 Test wickets.

And the day was capped off by a counter-attack from Lyon and Tim Paine, whose 66-run ninth-wicket stand put Australia back in the contest.

At stumps, called 10 minutes early due to bad light for the second consecutive evening, Australia were 245 for 9, with Paine on 33 and Josh Hazlewood on 1.

They still trailed by 66 runs after Elgar and South Africa's tail added 45 to their overnight total for the loss of their last two wickets, to take their total to 311.

Earlier, Elgar finished unbeaten on 141. Only Desmond Haynes of the West Indies had previously batted through a Test innings on three occasions.

Smith also equalled a world record when he caught South Africa’s last two batsmen for a total of five catches in the innings, the joint most by a fielder.

Although ten other fielders shared the record, Smith was only the second Australian to achieve the feat after Vic Richardson in 1935/36.

The series is delicately balanced at one match apiece.

Elgar and Rabada frustrated the Australians for 50 minutes as they took South Africa’s overnight total from 266 for eight. They shared a partnership of 50 before off-spinner Nathan Lyon had Rabada caught by Smith at slip for 22 off his first ball of the day.

Morkel hit a four before falling in identical fashion four balls later.Elgar batted for 434 minutes, faced 284 balls and hit 20 fours and a six.

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