Australian Collapse On Day Three Has South Africa Alive With A Chance

The second Test is not lacking for excitement.

Robert Whiteby Robert White

An Australian middle order collapse has seen South Africa back in with a chance at stumps on day three, but a record fourth innings score will be needed from the Proteas in order to win the second Test.

After a successful stint with the ball the Australian batting order faltered miserably in the final session of day three, finishing at 5-111. It’s not all bad news, the Aussies still maintain a respectable lead of 273 with five wickets remaining.

At the crease heading into day four will be the unbeaten Michael Clarke and Mike Hussey; the pair produced over 300 runs in total during the first innings and will be depended upon to deliver a knock score before Australia take the ball for the second time sometime tomorrow.

Unfortunately for the home side, their bowling attack will be slightly shorthanded with speed bowler James Pattinson out for the remainder of the Test with a side strain, though the Proteas will still have to face the deteriorating Adelaide Oval pitch.

Rory Kleinveldt was behind the marvellous South African bowling; he ate the top order alive and at one point had taken 3-3 from 18 deliveries.

Warner fell first for 41 (from 77 balls) before newcomer Rob Quiney threw his bat into the air, disgusted at surviving just balls. Ed Cowan fell soon after, LBW, for 29 leaving Australia’s second innings score at 4-98. Ricky Ponting didn’t offer the batting attack much resistance against the South African bowlers as he was dismissed for a third consecutive poor scoring innings.

Earlier in the day the visitors fought back in order to avoid the follow on. Captain Graeme Smith could add just 11 runs to his 111 on day two but Jacques Kallis and Morne Morkel did enough to secure the result.

Regardless of how Australia fares with the bat on day four, South Africa will likely have to produce an Adelaide Oval second innings record in order to win the match. The second highest fourth innings run chase in Adelaide Oval history was 315 completed by Australia in England over 100 years ago.

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Follow Robert White on Twitter @RobertWhitebrrr.