Australia is on the brink of defeating South Africa and require just a handful of wickets on the final day five to wrap up the third and deciding Test match of the series.
Graeme Smith’s retirement announcement on Monday wasn’t enough to inspire a turnaround and a loss for the Proteas seems all but inevitable after the home side posted 4-71 from 41 overs on Tuesday, trailing Australia by 440 with a day left to play.
Smith’s Test cricketing career came to a disappointing end on Tuesday when he was dismissed in third over of South Africa’s second innings.
The South African captain announced a day earlier that the current Test in Cape Town would be his last
“This has been the most difficult decision I have ever had to make in my life,” Graeme Smith said in a statement released by Cricket South Africa.
“It’s a decision that I have been considering since my ankle surgery in April last year. I have a young family to consider, and I felt that retiring at Newlands would be the best way to end it because I have called this place home since I was 18 years-old.”
Smith wasn’t able to sway another top order collapse against the Australian pace attack, falling to Mitchell Johnson on three runs from three balls from a ricochet that first claimed the captain’s hip before flying into Alex Doolan’s hands at short leg.
The 33-year-old fell in the middle of an embarrassing collapse that also claimed the wickets of Alviro Petersen (9) and Dean Elgar (0) for a total of 15 runs in the first three overs.
James Pattinson claimed the breakthrough wicket of Hashim Amla after the No.1 batsman provided a little resistance in the form of 41 runs in 148 minutes before being caught leg before wicket in the post tea session.
Earlier on day four, David Warner added 120 runs to his overnight total of 25 to finish on an astounding 145 runs before being caught by AB de Villiers (bowled Kyle Abbott).
The Australian opener scored 135 in the first innings, has averaged 91 on the tour and becomes the first player to ever score 500 runs in a three-match series in South Africa.