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Mitchell Johnson’s twin strikes put Australia in command at tea on Day 4 of 3rd Test

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Mitchell Johnson was on fire for Australia © Getty Images

Mar 4, 2014

Mitchell Johnson‘s twin strikes and Ryan Harris‘s scalp of Alviro Petersen, his 100 Test scalp put Australia in total command after setting a huge target of 511. The icing on the cake for Australia was Johnson bowling Dean Elgar with a brilliant delivery at the stroke of tea with a hint of away swing, which sent the South African southpaw’s stump cartwheeling.

Earlier, Australia declared at 303 for five, setting South Africa a humongous target of 511. David Warner led the way with a terrific knock of 145 and was well supported by cameos all the way through.

The second session started with Australian dressing room waiting with bated breath for Warner to bring up his second hundred of the match, it was South Africa who struck an early blow to remove Alex Doolan, whose mistimed hook of a bouncer landed kindly in the palms of Kyle Abbott at fine leg.

Warner did bring up his hundred a few balls later, joining an elite brand of cricketers to score two hundreds in the same match.  Shane Watson, who had played a brilliant cameo down the order in the first innings continued in the same vein in his second outing as well, smashing a couple of huge sixes.

Watson’s big hitting brought back Warner in slog mode and the Australian opener looked impregnable, soon after every Australian batsmen came in with the very intention of smacking the ball out of the park. Michael Clarke fluffed his chance, getting out of the first delivery; mistiming a full toss but Steven Smith slamming three fours of the first three deliveries stands testimony to that.

Warner finally holed out for 145 of the bowling of Kyle Abbott, the only bowler who looked like getting wickets for the hosts. The visitors soon after declared their innings for 303, setting a target of 511.

Brief scores:

Australia 494 for 7 decl. (David Warner 135, Michael Clarke 161*, Steven Smith 84; JP Duminy 4 for 73) & 303 for 5 (Chris Rogers 39,David Warner 145,Steven Smith 36*) lead South Africa 287 (Alviro Petersen 53, Hashim Amla 38,Vernon Philander 37* ; Mitchell Johnson 4 for 42 Ryan Harris 3 for 63) and 15 for three (Alviro Petersen 9; Mitchell Johnson 2 for 8) by 490 runs.

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