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Twitter Reactions: Australia struggle after South Africa ask them to chase an improbable total

South Africa
Kagiso Rabada of South Africa. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Quinton de Kock and Vernon Philander started the proceedings for South Africa on the individual scores of 16 and 23 while they had 390 runs on the board for the loss of 6 wickets. They already had a lead that could secure them a win in the Test. But the lower order also kicked in with valuable contributions as both the batsmen scored half centuries and their total was past the 500-run mark.

Philander was dismissed for 73 by the Australian captain Steve Smith, debutant Keshav Maharaj also got into the act and was well on the way to a half century on debut but when he was nine short, Mitchell Marsh finally found success, his second wicket in the game and de Kock was on his way back. Just then South African captain Faf du Plessis also decided to call back his men as they had 540 runs on the board which meant a lead of 538 runs.

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For Australia, Josh Hazlewood, Peter Siddle and Marsh shared a couple of wickets each while Mitchell Starc and skipper Smith had one wicket each. Nathan Lyon the only specialist spinner in the bowling attack returned without anything in his bag and that was possibly what hurt them the most given that the novice Maharaj had picked a four-wicket haul for South Africa in the second inning.

The bowling effort was definitely not satisfying given that the pitch was behaving oddly and they should have capitalized with wickets but couldn’t and let the Proteas get to a total that has never been scaled in the fourth innings in Test cricket.

When David Warner and Shaun Marsh walked out to bat, they had an improbable task at hand but Warner being Warner wasn’t affected by it and went about business in usual style. He carried his good form from the first inning but paid for underestimating Temba Bavuma’s fielding as he ran the Aussie opener out taking just a fraction of a second for the task.

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Steve Smith and Adam Voges were also dismissed after starts by Kagiso Rabada who scalped all the three wickets. But Usman Khawaja stuck in and found some support from Mitchell Marsh. At stumps, Australia had 169 runs in their account for the loss of 4 wickets.

Here is how Twitter reacted during the day’s play:

https://twitter.com/Cricketracker/status/795196099753455616

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