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Australia takes charge of second Test

Live scores and commentary

SCORE: Australia 5-111 and 550 against South Africa 388.

MAN OF THE MOMENT: Rory Kleinveldt. The Proteas paceman rapidly dismissed three Australian top order batsmen to give a slight pulse to the tourists.

KEY MOMENT: South Africa captain Graeme Smith, on 122, is given out, caught behind from Peter Siddle’s bowling. He unsuccessfully challenges and walks off, and the visitors’ hopes of pressing Australia go with him.

STAT OF THE DAY: 5-17. The South Africans lost five wickets in a 17-run span which killed their reply to Australia’s imposing first innings total.

SUMMARY: Australia lead by 273 runs and know only one team has made more fourth-innings runs to win an Adelaide Test - way back in 1902, when Australia scored 6-315 to beat England.


South Africa cricketers will likely need a record fourth-innings chase at the Adelaide Oval if they’re to perform a miracle in the second Test. Australia suffered an extraordinary final-session collapse on day three but at stumps were still favourites to win at 5-111 in their second dig, holding a lead of 273 with five wickets in hand.

The final session carnage provided good and bad news for the never-say-die South Africans.There’s certainly going to be time for them to shatter the all-time record books in Adelaide, but the pitch is gradually turning into a minefield.

In a further boost to the Proteas’ chances, Australia have likely lost pace weapon James Pattinson (side strain) for the match.   

Unmovable skipper Michael Clarke (9 not out) is at the crease with Mike Hussey (5 not out) after the Proteas were bowled out at tea for 388 - 162 runs shy of Australia’s first innings 550. More than a century of history and a crumbling Adelaide Oval wicket is on Australia’s side with two days left in the match.

The highest successful fourth-innings chase at Adelaide Oval was 315 by Australia against England back in 1901-02. Australia are still a chance to pass that mark before sending the Proteas back in at some stage on Sunday.

Even if they declared immediately, Australia’s lead would require the second biggest chase ever seen at the ground. However there’s no doubt Australia missed a chance to completely hammer home their advantage - and individuals may pay the price.

Ricky Ponting (16) and Rob Quiney (0) are under intense pressure after failing again in the second innings. Proteas rookie Rory Kleinveldt (3-14) caused carnage in the final session on Saturday, getting rid of David Warner (41), Quiney and Ed Cowan (29).

Dale Steyn (1-28) continued Ponting’s misery against South Africa and Morne Morkel (1-24) had nightwatchman Peter Siddle (1).Quiney will almost certainly be axed for the third Test after making a pair in Adelaide, while Ponting will need runs urgently in Perth.

Pattinson was forced to abandon his bowling of the 83rd over of the innings when he experienced pain in his side. He was rushed for scans but the results aren’t expected to be known until at least Sunday.Pattinson (0-41) would also have to be in severe doubt for the third Test in Perth, a surface where the firebrand quick would be desperately missed.

The embarrassment continued for Proteas spinner Imran Tahir (0-38). He thought he had Cowan caught for his first wicket and celebrated exuberantly, only to have it pinched off him for an unforgivable front-foot no-ball.

Earlier, Clarke (1-27) came up with the crucial wicket to break South Africa’s back, when he had a heroic Jacques kallis (58) caught down the leg-side to break a 93-run ninth-wicket partnership with debutant Faf du Plessis (78).

Siddle (2-130) claimed key men Graeme Smith (122) and AB de Villiers (1) and was well supported by Nathan Lyon (2-91) and under-pressure quick Ben Hilfenhaus (3-49) who dismissed du Plessis and the tail.