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Johnson and Harris leave South Africa with backs to wall

Pace bowlers Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris bowled Australia, leading by 234 runs with 10 wickets left, into a winning position on the third day of the third and final Test match against South Africa here at the Newlands on Monday.

cricket Updated: Mar 04, 2014 00:25 IST
Reuters
Mitchell Johnson

Pace bowlers Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris bowled Australia, leading by 234 runs with 10 wickets left, into a winning position on the third day of the third and final Test match against South Africa here at the Newlands on Monday.

Australia were 27 without loss in their second innings at the close, having bowled the home team out for 287 and decided not to enforce the follow-on. David Warner blazed his way to 25 not out while Chris Rogers was unbeaten on one.

Johnson took four for 42 and Harris claimed three for 63 after visiting captain Michael Clarke declared their first innings on the overnight score of 494 for seven, leaving himself undefeated on 161.

Left-arm paceman Johnson maintained his red-hot form and seamer Harris swung the ball both ways to bamboozle the South African batsmen.

Harris removed dangermen Graeme Smith for five, Hashim Amla for 38 and JP Duminy for four.

The dismissals of Smith and Duminy were similar, balls that shaped away from the left-handers and found the edge to give wicketkeeper Brad Haddin comfortable catches.

Amla succumbed to reverse swing, playing down the wrong line as the ball clattered into his stumps.

Serious fight
Only Faf du Plessis (67) and Alviro Petersen (53) showed serious resistance, the latter scoring the fastest half-century by a South African against Australia in 50 balls. It beat the previous record of 56 deliveries by Barry Richards in Durban in 1970.

Vernon Philander hung around for 107 balls for his unbeaten 37 while Dale Steyn pitched in with 28.

The series is level at 1-1.