A fifty from Mitchell Starc allowed Australia to get to 383 in the morning session on day three in Adelaide.
The hosts had Usman Khawaja to thank for putting their side in a commanding position going into the third day, as a brilliant century – Australia’s first in this series – saw them breeze past the Proteas 259-9 declared.
It was Starc who then turned a good lead into an excellent one, as his half-century – his seventh in Tests – took the Baggy Greens’ lead past 100 and beyond.
The pair added 20 runs to the overnight total before Vernon Philander had Khawaja plum lbw, sparking a huge applause around the Adelaide Oval for his 145 – this after being forced to open the batting after David Warner was told he couldn’t for spending too long off the field.
With the tail in, Starc saw that as an opportunity to open his shoulders. The boundaries flowed, much to the frustration of the tourists, but Kagiso Rabada would have his man three balls after raising his bat for fifty.
Tabraiz Shamsi, who’s endured a tough debut so far, then got his maiden Test wicket off the next over, as Nathan Lyon gloved one to leg slip, for Hashim Amla to move across and take a simple catch.
The hosts managed to score 34 more runs from there, which could prove damaging in South Africa’s hopes of pulling off a series whitewash.
There was further damage when Dean Elgar (0) lost his wicket just five balls into their response, forcing a fine catch out of Steve Smith in the slips, to leave the tourists struggling.
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