Australia v South Africa, 1st Test Day 3 Review: South Africa builds a huge lead

Australia v South Africa, 1st Test Day 3 Review: South Africa builds a huge lead

South Africa
Jean-Paul Duminy (L) of South Africa is congratulated by Dean Elgar. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Dean Elgar and JP Duminy both struck patient centuries as South Africa’s overall second innings lead ballooned to a commanding 388 runs at stumps on day three at the WACA. After shifting the momentum to its side yesterday, South Africa continued to dominate the hosts by batting through the day, making the Australian bowlers grind it out hard under the Perth sun.

Elgar and Duminy, both of whom returned to the pavilion unbeaten on the previous day, looked in fine tune and continued from where they left at stumps on the previous day. Elgar, resuming to bat on 46, went on compile 127 runs before departing whereas JP Duminy, batted at a much quicker rate than Elgar and struck a fluent 141.

After bowling out Australia for just 244, South Africa didn’t have the great start to their final innings losing opener Stephen Cook and Hashim Amla for cheap scores. However, some responsible batting from Elgar and Duminy put the visitors were in the safety zone and complete the day’s play at 104/2.

Today’s play was somewhat very crucial for the visitors. By all means, the course of the match would have been potentially been judged upon the wasy Proteas batted today. A poor show would have handed out the advantage back to the hosts who would have more than happy to grab the opportunity to come into the match.

At the time when Elgar was joined by the southpaw, South Africa were at a bit bothersome 45/2. But, as it turned out, Elgar and Duminy ensured there were no blunders and made no mistake. The duo added 250 runs for the third wicket and completely pushed the Australian to the corner. The opposition pace attack was turned into mere bowling machine as the pair went on to register the third-highest partnership at the WACA – the biggest came last year when Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson put on 265 in a high-scoring draw.

The pitch was undergoing its natural deterioration and the bounce was varying. However, that didn’t help the bowlers as the pair batted unfazed. Duminy, who made his debut four years ago at the same venue was the first to reach the triple figure mark while Elgar, who registered a pair the last he played at this venue, followed him to reach his own personal milestone.

The Australians had a share of missed chances throughout the day. Mitchell Marsh and Josh Hazlewood were able to move the ball and narrowly missed on chipping the stump on more than a couple of occasions. Nathan Lyon almost got Elgar when he was on 81. But, luck was in favour of the South Africans for most of the day. Until the tea session, Australia had not tasted any success before Duminy fell just before the end of the session.

The left-hander missed on an attempt drive a ball outside off against Peter Siddle and was caught behind. The dismissal was initially rejected by the umpire but skipper Steven Smith quick went for  a review which turned the decision in favour of the hosts. Hot Spot did not detect a mark but there was a loud noise on Snicko, which brought an end to a fantastic innings.

In the last session, Australia was able to add three more wickets to their kitty. Elgar shortly departed while trying to flash his bat on a fuller delivery and handing out a catch off the thick outside edge to Starc at gully. Faf du Plessis and Temba Bavuma could contribute much and added to the wickets column after tea. Quinton de Kock and Vernon Philander now hold the fort and would be required to bat productively tomorrow and balloon the existing amount of lead.

Brief Scores:

South Africa, 1st innings: 242 all out 242 all out

Australia, 1st innings: 244 all out (D Warner 97; V Philander 4/56)

South Africa, 2nd innings: 390/6 (JP Duminy 141; P Siddle 2/47)