Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander might need the spinners to aid them on day five as they look to wrap up the first Test.
The Proteas are just six wickets away from another Test victory in Perth, and it will take something extraordinarily special for them to not go 1-0 up from here.
A remarkable run out from Temba Bavuma proved the catalyst, as his sharp athleticism saw off David Warner, and with that, just about all of Australia’s hopes of getting anything out of this match disappeared.
Kagiso Rabada was in imperious form, accounting for the other three wickets. While much will depend on him this morning, he’s not going to be able to do it alone.
Skipper Faf du Plessis will have to continue to be careful with the way he utilises his bowlers in the absence of Dale Steyn. Should the likes of Mitchell Marsh (15) and Usman Khawaja (58) somehow settle themselves in to Rabada and Philander’s spells, Keshav Maharaj and JP Duminy are going to have to share the load.
Maharaj started to find the cracks towards the end of day four, which is bad news for the hosts. The debutant managed to get three wickets on day two, so day five should give him the chance to contribute to the six wickets needed. Duminy will need to hold an end too, to avoid the risk of burning Rabada and Philander out.
Australia go into the morning session on 169-4, and while South Africa are closing in on victory, Du Plessis still needs to be careful with his game management from here. He knows that all too well, as it was his century on debut that allowed the Proteas to see off 148 overs in a famous draw in Adelaide four years ago.
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