Aussie skipper scores a gutsy ton to put more pressure on the Proteas.
Australian captain Michael Clarke completed his 27th Test century as Australia continued to build a big total on the second day of the third and final Test against South Africa at Newlands on Sunday.
Clarke made 137 not out in an Australian total of 434 for four at lunch.
Australia added 103 runs for the loss of Steve Smith’s wicket on a chilly, windy morning.
With strike bowler Dale Steyn out of action after suffering a hamstring injury on the first day, the key for Australia was to prevent the South African bowlers from making a breakthrough early in the day with an almost-new ball.
Kyle Abbott bowled an outstanding spell of six overs during which he conceded only one run, but couldn’t take a wicket, while Vernon Philander went for 39 runs in his six-over morning spell.
Clarke, who was on 92 overnight, quickly went to 99 but then faced 24 deliveries – 23 of them from Abbott – without being able to get the run to bring up his fifth century against South Africa.
It finally came with a cover drive for four off Philander. He had faced 215 balls and hit 11 fours.
Smith, meanwhile, played some aggressive strokes as he made 84 in a fourth wicket stand of 184 with Clarke before he chopped a wide delivery from part-time left-arm spinner Dean Elgar into his stumps. He hit nine fours and three sixes in a 155-ball innings.
Shane Watson, playing in his first match of the series, survived a review off the first ball he faced when Elgar appealed for leg before wicket. He was on 21 not out at lunch.
Lunch scores on the second day of the third and final Test between South Africa and Australia at Newlands on Sunday.
Australia, first innings (overnight 331-3)
C. Rogers c Smith b Steyn 25
D. Warner c De Villiers b Duminy 135
A. Doolan c Steyn b Philander 20
M. Clarke not out 137
S. Smith b Elgar 84
S. Watson not out 21
Extras (nb6, w6) 12
Total (4 wkts, 114 overs) 434
Fall of wickets: 1-65 (Rogers), 2-138 (Doolan), 3-217 (Warner), 4-401 (Smith)
Bowling: Steyn 10.1-0-44-1, Philander 25-2-105-1 (1nb), Morkel 23.5-2-94-0 (4nb, 2w), Duminy 10-0-39-0, Abbott 23-10-53-0 (1nb), Elgar 22-0-99-1
To bat: B. Haddin, M. Johnson, J. Pattinson, R. Harris, N. Lyon
South Africa: G. Smith, A. Petersen, D. Elgar, H. Amla, A. de Villiers, F. du Plessis, J. Duminy, V. Philander, K. Abbott, D. Steyn, M. Morkel
Match situation: Australia are 434 for four wickets in the first innings
Umpires: Aleem Dar (PAK), Kumar Dharmasena (SRI)
TV umpire: Richard Illingworth (ENG)
Match referee: Roshan Mahanama (SRI)