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Sunday, February 23, 2014

South Africa continue on road to victory as Amla shines: T2D3

South Africa 423 & 4/192 (47ov, Amla 93*/126b/12x4, Johnson 2/48, Siddle 2/53) lead Australia 246 (57ov, Warner 70/76b/10x4, Smith 49/72b/8x4, Johnson 27, Harris 26, Morkel 3/63, Philander 3/68, Parnell 2/31) by 369 runs with 6 2nd inns wkts in hand; T2/3 D3/5 at Port Elizabeth.

South Africa continued to dominate,  with the quick bowlers maintaining the pressure on a brittle Australia batting lineup. David Warner fell early, Nathan Lyon soon after: at 6/128 all looked lost. P

Even after Steve Smith (given out by a third umpire blunder) rallied the lower order (Brad Haddin excepted) the 118 added for the last four wickets avoided the prospect of the follow on but did little to change the impression that Australia are heading for a comprehensive beating.

South Africa's second innings batting reinforced  this. While Graeme Smith failed again Hashim Amla made up for his first Test shortcomings with a scintillating knock which blunted Australia's attack. Smith will probably allow Amla, 93* overnight, to complete a well deserved century before declaring.

Australia has no chance of winning:  its best hope of a draw is that the weather forecast of 35mm of rain on D5 is accurate. If that happens we can count ourselves very lucky. 

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