SA vs AUS, 2nd Test: Khawaja-Marsh Stand Helps Australia Take Narrow Lead

SA vs AUS, 2nd Test: Khawaja-Marsh Stand Helps Australia Take Narrow Lead
Khawaja scored 75

Dodgy knocks from Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Marsh helped Australia recover from a disastrous start and finish day three with a lead of 41 runs. The visitors finished the day on 180 for 5, thus leaving the game finely poised.

With a big lead at their disposal,  South Africa’s bowlers came out all guns blazing in the second innings. They made early inroads into Australia’s top order to put the visitors under pressure. An AB de Villiers special had given the hosts a big 139-run lead before the bowlers rose to the occasion. Kagiso Rabada drew the first blood by castling David Warner with a superb delivery. Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith then took the score past the 50-run mark before the former chopped one on off the bowling of Lungi Ngidi. The wicket saw Australia getting reduced to 62 for 2.

The visitors then suffered another huge setback when their skipper Smith was sent back by Keshav Maharaj for just 11. It was the third time in four innings in the series that Smith fell to a left-arm spinner as Australia found themselves reeling at 77 for 3. 9 runs later, the team from Down Under received another setback as Rabada had Shaun Marsh caught behind for 1.

But before the hosts could make further inroads in the game, Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Marsh joined hands to deny them. The duo helped Australia end South Africa’s lead. However, just when it looked they will see out the day for the hosts, Rabada struck once again to remove Khawaja for 75. The dismissal ended the 87-run stand.

Marsh (39) and Tim Paine then helped their side finish the day without suffering any further setback.

Earlier in the day, an AB de Villiers masterclass helped the hosts take a sizable 139-run lead.  The batting star scored his first Test century in more than three years, helping South Africa take the upper hand in the game.

The former skipper added 84 with Vernon Philander (35) and then shared a quickfire half-century stand with Keshav Maharaj (30) to push the lead past 100 and put the hosts in command. De Villiers took just 146 balls to remain unbeaten on 126 which allowed South Africa’s lead to balloon from 20 at the start of play to 139, for the loss of the final three wickets.

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


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