Cricket: South Africa's uphill struggle

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The Independent Online
Australia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .469-7 dec and 124-6 dec

South Africa. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .273 and 18-3

SOUTH AFRICA were in trouble after losing three wickets for just 18 runs on the fourth day of the third Test at the Adelaide Oval, after being set a victory target of 321 yesterday.

The touring side, who need a draw to win the series, seemed unsure of the tactics to adopt when they started their second innings. Andrew Hudson was caught by Steve Waugh in the gully off Craig McDermott for two, and Hansie Cronje, the acting captain, scored three before being trapped leg before by Shane Warne. Gary Kirsten was bowled round his legs for seven by Warne.

South Africa resumed their first innings on 235 for 7. They just avoided the follow-on, being dismissed for 273 half an hour before lunch. Peter Kirsten, with 79, was the major contributor.

When Australia responded, Allan Donald took his 50th Test wicket by trapping Michael Slater leg before for seven. The home side abandoned caution and wickets tumbled regularly en route to the declaration at 124 for 6.

'We are definitely going to be in the back seat tomorrow, and Australia are in the driving seat,' Jonty Rhodes, the next batsman in, said last night. 'The last thing we needed was to be three wickets down. I thought we might be around 50 for 1. We are not going to give up without a fight. Stranger things have happened in cricket and we could get a draw.'

Peter Kirsten was yesterday fined 25 per cent of his match fee for arguing with the umpire, Darrell Hair, on Sunday after lbw decisions against three South African batsmen.

(Fourth day; Australia won toss)

AUSTRALIA - First Innings 469 for 7 dec (S R Waugh 164, A R Border 84, M A Taylor 62, M J Slater 53, D C Boon 50; B M McMillan 3-89, A A Donald 3-122).

SOUTH AFRICA - First Innings

(Overnight: 235 for 7)

P N Kirsten c M Waugh b Warne. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .79

R P Snell c Healy b McDermott. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10

P S de Villiers run out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4

A A Donald not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

Extras (b3 lb10 w1 nb9). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23

Total. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .273

Fall (cont): 8-243 9-270.

Bowling: McDermott 27-9-49-3; Reiffel 15-4- 36-1; May 25-9-57-0; Warne 44.2-15-85-1; M Waugh 3-1-7-0; S Waugh 18-7-26-4.

AUSTRALIA - Second Innings

M J Slater lbw Donald. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 M A Taylor b Snell. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 D C Boon c Hudson b McMillan. . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 M E Waugh c Richardson b Donald. . . . . . . . . . . .12 * A R Border run out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 S R Waugh c Richardson b Snell. . . . . . . . . . . . .1 ] I A Healy not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 P A Reiffel not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Extras (lb7 nb1). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Total (for 6 dec). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124

Fall: 1-23 2-79 3-91 4-99 5-103 6-109.

Did not bat: S Warne, C McDermott, T May.

Bowling: Donald 11-2-26-2, McMillan 11-0- 33-1, Cronje 6-1-20-0, Snell 12-3-38-2.

SOUTH AFRICA - Second Innings

A C Hudson c S Waugh b McDermott. . . . . . . . . . . . .2 G Kirsten b Warne. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 * W J Cronje lbw Warne. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 P N Kirsten not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 P S de Villiers not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 Extras (lb1 w2 nb2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Total (for 3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18

Fall: 1-12 2-17 3-18.

To bat: J N Rhodes, D J Cullinan, B M McMillan, D J Richardson, R P Snell, P S de Villiers, A A Donald.

Bowling (to date): McDermott 7-3-8-1; Reiffel 4-1-7-0; Warne 7-5-2-2; May 4-4-0-0.

Umpires: T Prue and D Hair.

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