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North stars for Australia

cricket Updated: Feb 27, 2009 23:28 IST
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South Africa were left in a precarious position at stumps on the second day of the first Test against Australia here on Friday. Replying to the tourists’ first innings total of 466, South Africa were 85/3, with Neil McKenzie (35) and AB de Villiers (13) at the crease.

All three Australian pacers — Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus and Mitchell Johnson — got a wicket each to leave SA tottering at 49/3.

Earlier, debutant Marcus North compiled a century and tail-ender Mitchell Johnson fell narrowly short of his maiden ton as the Australians were bowled out to bring an early tea interval.

North, at the crease for almost four hours overnight, made 117 off 233 balls and Johnson hit 96 from 131 deliveries in a stubborn 117-run stand that frustrated the South African attack.

Paul Harris got the breakthrough when North attempted to pick up the pace after reaching his hundred, double-stepping the spinner and giving Mark Boucher an easy stumping.

Johnson then dominated a 53-run stand for the ninth wicket with Peter Siddle, smashing Harris for 26 runs, including three sixes, in a single over shortly before the break.

But Morne Morkel wrapped things up in a hurry first getting Siddle then removing Ben Hilfenhaus.