(With the series levelled 1-1 the third Test of the contest is expected to be a humdinger. All the good work done by Mitchell Johnson in the first Test had been equalled by Dale Steyn in the second. Catch live cricket scores of the match in our live blog below.)
All is well with Australia at stumps as Clarke and Smith return to the pavilion with broad smiles on their faces. Tomorrow is going to be another day of hard toil for the hosts. Keep tuned in.
Morne is not willing to give up so easily. He hit Clarke on the thumb, and was roaring for more, but Smith responded with an uppercut to bring up a well-deserved fifty.
This may be the last mini-battle of the day as we move closer to stumps. Clarke pulls and cuts Big Morne for two fours, and then mistimes a hook. Had Peterson been about nine feet tall, well…
Okay, now they’re going all out. Smith reaches way, way outside and flashes Philander for four, and edges the next ball past gully for four more. Philander isn’t happy, but Smith doesn’t care: he creams him past mid-wicket for four more.
Okay guys, here’s what you’ve been waiting for. After two intimidating overs from Elgar and Duminy Smith has finally taken the new ball. Big Morne to bowl.
Elgar has painstakingly helped South Africa to reach the 80th over with an assortment of overpitched deliveries. In other news, Dale Steyn is as good as ruled out from bowling in the first innings. He may not even bowl in the Test.
The crowd are, meanwhile, entertaining themselves with a long snake made out of a humongous hosepipe. That is just about all the fun they have had in the day. As we wait for the new ball, here’s an interesting stat: this is only THE THIRD TIME that the first four wickets in a Test innings have all gone past 50 against South Africa. Australia had done it at MCG in 1931-32 and England in the famous timeless Test at Kingsmead in 1938-39.
Elgar seems to be quite popular with the Smiths. While Graeme Smith keeps on persisting with him, Steve Smith lofted him straight into the stands for the second six of the day.
Nothing much, guys. Elgar still bowls on instead of Duminy for some inexplicable reason with Abbott for company as Clarke and Smith pile up runs. They do not look like getting out anytime soon.
No issues there for Clarke and Smith as Elgar has been reintroduced. There is only so much Morne and Phil can do — as can Allan Donald, who is watching helplessly from the sidelines.
That’s his fifty! Clarke has not been very comfortable against Morne’s ammo, but once he survived those initial physical blows he eased into his strokes, driving with characteristic regal panache to bring up his 28th fifty. It has taken him 122 balls.
Smith has brought Morkel back, but he has not looked as dangerous as he had before tea. Both Clarke and Smith seem to be at comfort against him. Since the breakthrough Duminy has been probing, but that has been about it.
This is only the tenth time that the first three wickets have all registered fifty-partnerships in an innings against South Africa. The last instance was against the same opposition at the same ground in 2001-02.
That is the breakthrough! There have been talks regarding Smith preferring Elgar to Duminy, and the moment Smith brings Duminy back he gets the big wicket! Warner prods, the ball hits AB on the chest, but he somehow clings on to it. Clarke stops him from taking a review. Warner falls after a gem – but has he done enough?
OUT! D Warner c AB de Villiers b JP Duminy 135 (152)
Dropped, and then SIX! Smith’s persistence with Elgar had almost paid off when Clarke top-edged a cut, but Smith himself was unsighted by AB. Once they changed ends, Warner released the pressure by lofting Elgar past mid-wicket for the first six of the day.
That is the 200! For some reason Smith prefers Elgar to Duminy, and Warner pulls him for a brace to bring up the double-hundred. Elsewhere, news is that Steyn may not reappear for the rest of the day.
Australia go into tea having negotiated Morkel. Philander was brought back just before tea, but Elgar’s ineffective loop at the other end were too harmless to exert pressure of any magnitude. Bowling figures at tea: Steyn 10.1-0-44-1, Philander 11-0-42-1, Morkel 10.5-1-38-0, Duminy 3-0-13-0, Abbott 11-2-40-0, Elgar 6-0-18-0.
Morne keeps on unleashing his cannonballs, but Warner keeps strike and puts him at bay. An innocuous Elgar at the other end seems to have taken the pressure off Clarke as the Australian captain grows in confidence. Smith has probably missed out on a trick here, but then, he has lost his ace of spades with a pulled hamstring.
Things are happening at Newlands! First, Morne sizes up Pup by hitting his arm, forcing the armguard to come up. Then he hit the grille of the helmet before rapping him on the gloves. The last ball sears past the Australian captain’s nose. Vintage stuff! Meanwhile, Steyn has left the ground with an injured hamstring. Elgar on.
There it is! Abbott bowls short, Warner pulls, and deep fine-leg cannot reach in time. Warner brings up his seventh hundred, and does the trademark underarm punch, helmet held firmly in hand. A hundred off 104 balls. Be ready for more.
Loud appeal as Warner tries to pull Steyn. Dar says not out, Smith reviews, and not out it is. The ball has clipped the thigh-pad. South Africa ends up losing a review! A fuming Steyn hits Clarke on the pads. He is still not looking as hostile as he usually does, Steyn…
Few contrasts have been as big: Steyn runs in, pumped up, nostrils flaring, barraging the batsmen with bouncers; Abbott, on the other hand, looks exhausted for some reason as he ambles down and sends down one harmless delivery after another. Australia on top, for sure.
Smith tried to pull off a trick by replacing Abbott with Duminy, but it did not work. Clarke, meanwhile, eased on to one just outside off from Philander and opened the face for a four past third-man. Here’s Warner, then, ten short of his hundred, as Smith brings Steyn back…
What do you say? He got his eyes in, he was looking confident, and all he had to do was to keep the occasional good ball out. Instead, he goes for a completely useless pull off Philander, and Steyn runs to his right to take an easy catch.
OUT! Doolan c Steyn b Philander 20(66)
This is Warner in a completely new avatar: not only is he scoring fast, he is also getting his runs fast and without any risk. First a cut to the left of point, then an excellent improvised stroke past extra-cover, with identical results. 88 from 82, and this is just into the second session…
Philander strayed a bit, and Doolan leaned forward, driving with ease past mid-wicket. It’s amazing, the way he has turned things around despite the criticism over his selection. He has gone past those initial anxious moments and now looks all set for a big one.
A serene start to the second session as Abbott and Philander start proceedings. Smith has already gone on the defensive with just a couple of slips on, and once Warner decides to open up things may change for the worse.
With that it’s lunch on Day One at Newlands. Smith replaced Abbott and Steyn with Philander and Morkel, but to no avail. Warner and Doolan have settled down. Philander bowled a bouncer that soared over AB’s head for five wides: Smith won’t like that. It will take a special effort from South Africa to turn things around in the second session, and who can be a person better than Steyn to pull that off? Do tune in after lunch.
The runs keep piling on. Warner hit an exquisite cover-drive. Doolan hit a beautifully punched four and a pull for boundaries, but survived a close leg-before appeal in between.
What a way to bring up your fifty! Warner pushed Steyn to mid-on and sprinted for a single and Philander threw the stumps down at the non-striker’s end. The ball, unfortunately, hit the stumps and sprinted through the empty extra-cover. A gift, really, but what a fifty!
Smith brings back Steyn, and the great man strikes immediately! He somehow sucked Rogers into playing a drive that wasn’t quite there, and Smith showed good reflexes at first slip to finish things off.
OUT! C Rogers 25(41)
Abbott finds some seam movement, beating Rogers’ outside edge. With Abbott and Morne in tandem, maybe the hosts might pull things further back. Meanwhile, in case you’re wondering who Abbott is, he has played a single Test and had taken seven for 29 on debut.
Morkel seems to have lost the nip a bit after the initial burst. He bowled a bit too full to both Rogers and Warner, and was driven accordingly. On the other hand, the Duminy ploy has certainly not worked. Maybe it’s time to get Steyn from the other end? Oh wait – Kyle Abbott is here…
Morne has just bowled the best over of the innings till now. He has run in hard, has made the ball bounce, and the last ball grazed Rogers’ shoulder. Something might happen in his next over. Meanwhile, here’s Duminy, bowling in the tenth over of the match. Who would’ve thunk?
Warner has taken on Big Phil: two pulls, one cut, three fours in all.
This is jaw-dropping stuff, folks: Australia means business.
Woah, this is interesting! Dale Steyn has leaked runs today, conceding 17 off his first two overs. Smith summons Morkel immediately.
Morkel has looked the most threatening of the trio so far, bowling a steady line and making the ball lift off a length. He has started off at 148 kph and has even clocked 150, and does not really seem very willing to relent from that.
An extremely positive start from Australia nevertheless.
Steyn does not look as menacing as one might think he could have been. Warner drives him beautifully through cover for a four and punches him for a three.
Chris Rogers seems to have taken off from where he had finished in the previous innings. A cut past point and a glance off his hips, and he is on his way. Over to Warner and Philander now.
Hello and welcome to the live updates of the third Test between South Africa and Australia at Cape Town. South Africa will be raring to and clinch their first home series victory against Australia after returning to international cricket in 1991.
Australia have won the toss and has elected to bat first. Kyle Abbott replaces injured Wayne Parnell for South Africa. For Australia, Shane Watson replaces Shaun Marsh and James Pattinson replaces Peter Siddle.
After being annihilated by Australia within four days in the first Test, South Africa came back strong to defeat the visitors by 231 runs in the second Test at Port Elizabeth. The series is leveled at 1-1.
South Africa: Graeme Smith (c), Alviro Petersen, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers (wk), Dean Elgar, Vernon Philander, Kyle Abbott, Robin Peterson, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel.
Australia: David Warner, Chris Rogers, Alex Doolan, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke (c), Steven Smith, Brad Haddin (wk), Mitchell Johnson, James Pattinson, Ryan Harris, Nathan Lyon.