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24-Mar-2018 16:08:00 GMT
SA v Aus, 3rd Test, Cape Town, day 3

South Africa build lead amid Bancroft controversy

South Africa 311 (Elgar 141*, de Villiers 64, Cummins 4-78) and 238 for 5 (Markram 84, de Villiers 51*) lead Australia 255 (Bancroft 77, Morkel 4-87, Rabada 4-91) by 294 runs

Cape Town: Australia produced a late brace of wickets to keep the pressure on the South African batsmen but the hosts continued to build a commanding lead in Cape Town, with AB de Villiers not out overnight with his team 294 runs ahead with five wickets remaining.

On a day marked by controversy after television pictures of Australia’s Cameron Bancroft led the umpires to review the condition of the ball, the tourists dismissed South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis and Temba Bavuma in quick succession in the evening session before Quinton de Kock ( ) saw his team to the close alongside AB de Villiers.

South Africa had made light work of finishing off the Australian innings, with Kagiso Rabada nicking off Josh Hazlewood for 10 to wrap up a four-wicket haul, with Tim Paine 34 not out as the tourists made 255.

Australia then bowled with persistence and no little discipline throughout the day. Dean Elgar was the first to go, driving loosely at a good length ball from Pat Cummins to be pouched at second slip by Steve Smith.

Opener Aiden Markram built a strong base for his team after an early reprieve when Usman Khawaja put down a tricky diving chance in the gully. He went on to compile a highly proficient 84 that went a long way to putting South Africa out of reach, disappointing only on the stroke of tea, when he fell softly by clipping Mitchell Starc to mid-on.

Hashim Amla joined Markram at the fall of Elgar and built a solid foundation, the pair putting on 76 before Amla punched Cummins straight to short extra cover for 31.

That brought AB de Villiers to the crease. With Australia intent on creating an intimidating atmosphere, he quickly got off the mark with a six, cutting a fired up Cummins over cover in stunning fashion. But after that it was an exhibition in controlled batting, as solid defence, positive running and putting away the bad ball defined a knock that edged South Africa further and further ahead against a good bowling attack.

Nathan Lyon had the struggling du Plessis lbw on review having trapped him on the crease and then Bavuma was caught low down at second slip off Hazlewood.

De Kock played some big shots to make it to 33 not out off 29 balls, while de Villiers went to his half-century with a reverse-sweep off Lyon shortly before the umpires called play off early as the light deteriorated.

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