Australia appear set to claim the three-Test series against South Africa after Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris combined to collect a bag of wickets and propel Australia into a commanding lead on day three of the third Test in Cape Town.
Johnson took 4-42 from 19 overs and Harris 3-63 (22) as Australia ravaged the home side early, dismissing the Proteas for 287, 234 runs behind the Aussies at stumps.
Putting together his best stretch of the series thus far, Harris’ swing bowling removed Hashim Amla and JP Duminy after taking the opening wicket of Graeme Smith with the score at just 1-7, continuing the captain’s dreadful series with the bat.
Johnson also played a big role, removing danger man AB de Villiers for 14 when the wicketkeeper attempted a drive that instead fell to Michael Clarke at slips.
Faf du Pleiss offered some resistance to post a total of 67, but could have been dismissed for 30 when Brad Haddin missed a chance to stump the South African off a Nathan Lyon spinner.
Shane Watson cleaned bowled Kyle Abbott at the end of the 73rd over before Johnson and James Pattinson (2-77) finished off the tail order of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, both caught by Watson.
Openers David Warner (25) and Chris Rogers (1) hit the crease for a short stint, and resume at the crease tomorrow at 0-27.
Earlier in the day Clarke declared for a total on 494 for the loss of seven wickets, declining the follow on likely due to the amount of overs bowled by Harris and Johnson already this series. The captain made an unbeaten 161, trumping Warner’s 135 on day two. Steve Smith chipped in 84.
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