Kirsten leads Proteas' fightback

Australia 554 South Africa 154 and 209-2
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The Independent Online

Gary Kirsten and Boeta Dippenaar led a South African fightback on the third day of the third Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The Proteas crashed to 154 all out before lunch in their first innings and Australia skipper Steve Waugh enforced the follow–on with the tourists finishing exactly 400 behind the home side's total.

Things went from bad to worse for South Africa when Herschelle Gibbs fell in the afternoon session, bowled by Brett Lee for 10 with the second innings score on 17.

However, Kirsten and Dippenaar then put on 149 for the second wicket before the latter holed out to Ricky Ponting off the bowling of Stuart MacGill for 74.

Kirsten was given a life when he was dropped by Mark Waugh in the slips off Brett Lee when he was on 12 but otherwise batted superbly for 82 not out.

And he was ably supported by Jacques Kallis, who contributed an unbeaten 32, to help South Africa to 209 for two at the close of play – albeit still 191 runs short of avoiding an innings defeat.

At the start of the day, after resuming on 93 for four, the tourists lost Neil McKenzie after only three balls when he was bowled by Shane Warne for 20.

And the Aussie leg–spinner struck again in his next over trapping Justin Ontong lbw for nine.

Glenn McGrath then had Proteas skipper Shaun Pollock caught in the covers by Damien Martyn and Nicky Boje was unluckily run out for seven after slipping going for a third run.

Vice–captain Mark Boucher reached 35 before he fell to a brilliant catch by Ponting off Warne and then MacGill finished off the innings when he had Claude Henderson caught by McGrath off a skier.

Warne, McGrath and MacGill all claimed three wickets and the second innings began with the rare sight of a leg–spinner, Warne, opening the bowling.

Third day; Australia won toss

AUSTRALIA ­ First Innings 554 (J L Langer 126, D R Martyn 117, M L Hayden 105; N Boje 4-63).

SOUTH AFRICA ­ First Innings

(Overnight: 93 for 4)

N D McKenzie b Warne 20

J L Ontong lbw b Warne 9

ÝM V Boucher c Ponting b Warne 35

*S M Pollock c Martyn b McGrath 6

N Boje run out 7

C W Henderson c McGrath b MacGill 9

A A Donald not out 2

Extras (lb8 nb1) 9

Total (62.2 overs) 154

Fall: 1-37 2-43 3-56 4-77 5-93 6-98 7-111 8-121 9-148.

Bowling: McGrath 17-6-35-3; Lee 6-2-13-0 MacGill 20.2-6-51-3; Warne 19-5-47-3.

SOUTH AFRICA ­ Second Innings

H H Gibbs b Lee 10

G Kirsten not out 82

H H Dippenaar c Ponting b MacGill 74

J H Kallis not out 32

Extras (b4 lb5 nb2) 11

Total (for 2, 69 overs) 209

Fall: 1-17 2-166.

To bat: N D McKenzie, J L Ontong, ÝM V Boucher, *S M Pollock, C W Henderson, A A Donald, N Boje.

Bowling: McGrath 11-2-35-0; Warne 20-5-58-0; Lee 11-3-30-1; MacGill 20-6-52-1; M E Waugh 6-1-14-0; Ponting 1-0-11-0.

Umpires: D J Harper and D R Shepherd.

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