Aussies extend lead past 400 | Sunday Observer

Aussies extend lead past 400

South Africa fought back on the third day of the first Test but could not stop Australia from taking their lead beyond 400 at Kingsmead on Saturday. Australia were 213 for nine when bad light stopped play, an overall lead of 402.

South Africa will be faced with a daunting task when they eventually get to bat on Sunday on a slow pitch on which batsmen have struggled to play with freedom.

But the hosts could take heart from a fighting, disciplined performance after Australia made a sparkling start to their second innings. Cameron Bancroft (53) and David Warner (28) put on 56 in 13 overs for the first wicket and Australia seemed to be racing to an unassailable position.

The run rate remained brisk as Australia reached 112 for three at lunch. The scoring dried up after lunch, however, and Australia lost six more wickets while eking out another 101 runs in 44.4 overs before the umpires took the players off the field.

Kagiso Rabada bowled with pace and hostility and was unlucky not to claim more than the two wickets he took for 28 runs.

Bancroft and Warner attacked left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj when he started to bowl on Saturday, scoring 20 runs off his first two overs.