Kagiso Rabada secured his five-wicket haul towards the end of the morning session to leave the Proteas just three wickets away from victory.
Khawaja was keeping his side afloat quite nicely on the first session of day five, with the wicket of Mitchell Marsh the only hiccup as they look to defy the odds and get a result out of this match. JP Duminy’s first ball of the day changed that completely, as he trapped Khawaja lbw, three runs short of a century.
Australia suffered a further blow just on the stroke of lunch, as Rabada secured his fourth five-wicket haul by trapping Mitchell Starc lbw. It’s difficult to see the hosts last too much longer from here.
Marsh and Khawaja walked out on day five, to an almost empty Waca, with their side on 169-4, 370 runs away from victory. It was an almighty prospect, but they dug in nicely to Kagiso Rabada and Keshav Maharaj, despite the pitch causing all kinds of problems.
Rabada was firing in as he did on Sunday, and it took a superb yorker to find the breakthrough. Marsh got bat and pad on the delivery, but the question was whether it was pad first. Skipper Faf du Plessis reviewed and it was pad first, and indeed hitting. Marsh had to walk for 26. To the naked eye, it looked like it was missing leg stump, causing quite a stir in the Australian commentary box.
There were concerns surrounding Rabada as he trudged off with an ice pack on his right shoulder. His absence prompted Temba Bavuma to come on and have a bowl. Is there anything he can’t do? He would have had Khawaja lbw first ball, were it not for Bavuma stepping over the line for a front-foot no ball.
With Khawaja and Peter Nevill settling in to a 50-run stand, Duminy removed Khawaja almost against the run of play, and it was a huge scalp to introduce the tail. Any injury concerns to Rabada were quickly dispelled, as another yorker brought about his fifth wicket, seeing off Starc for 13.
Nevill (20) and Peter Siddle (0) will continue Australia’s desperate task after lunch on 263-7.
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