SA vs AUS, 4th Test, Day 2, Review: Temba Bavuma and Philander put South Africa firmly on top
Cummins bowled well for his five-wicket haul but the batsmen crumbled pressure.
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It was yet another attritional day of Test cricket between South Africa and Australia even as the home side strangled the opposition significantly. They posted a huge total of 488 runs while batting first and then the bowlers were all over the Australian batsmen who had no clue whatsoever. The visitors are staring down the barrel and will need a herculean effort for them to stage a comeback in this match. However, it was the knock of Temba Bavuma which highlighted the day though he was left stranded on 95.
Earlier in the morning, the unbeaten duo of Bavuma and Quinton de Kock resumed the proceedings for South Africa as they aimed to post a decent total on the board. They played really well and denied Australia a wicket early in the day. Both added 85 runs for the 7th wicket even as De Kock was snaffled by Nathan Lyon on 39. Vernon Philander also was sent back soon on 12 as the visitors aimed to clean up the tail soon.
Bavuma and Maharaj frustrate Aussies
But Keshav Maharaj and Bavuma had different ideas as they batted beautifully to keep them on the tenterhooks. Meanwhile, the former reached his half-century and looked set to cross the three-figure mark. His partner though decided to have some fun during his stay in the middle and took a special liking to Lyon and ripped him apart. He smashed 45 runs off just 51 deliveries with 4 fours and a couple of maximums.
But he got out at the wrong time and with Bavuma on 95 even as Morne Morkel was snaffled by Pat Cummins off the very next ball to complete a well-deserved five-wicket haul. Proteas posted a mammoth total of 488 as Cummins returned with the figures of 5/83.
Aussie innings in tatters
Australia needed their depleted top order to score big but the new opening duo of Matt Renshaw and Joe Burns failed to provide a good start to their team. Both were sent back to the hut even as Peter Handscomb bagged a golden duck to leave the visitors reeling at 38/3. Then the experienced Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh joined hands together and weathered the storm gamely. Though they didn’t score many runs, the duo didn’t throw their wickets.
But South African bowlers were always probing especially Vernon Philander who looked like picking up a wicket off every delivery. But there was collapse somewhere around as the wicket of Khawaja triggered it. He was picked by Philander on 53 who looked good while he was there. But soon Morne Morkel castled Mitchell Marsh for 4 and Maharaj took care of his elder brother who edged to slip on 16.
Australia ended the day on 110/6 with the skipper Tim Paine and Cummins fighting it out for them. They would be having an improbable task on their hands but South Africa looks set to impose a follow-on on them on the third day. It would require a herculean effort from the visitors to come out of this situation as the hosts are firmly on top.
South Africa 488 after 136.5 overs (A Markram 152, T Bavuma 95, De Villiers 69; P Cummins 5/83, N Lyon 3/182)
Australia 110/6 after 38 overs (U Khawaja 53; V Philander 3/17)
State of the Match: Australia trail by 382 runs