Mitchell Starc completed his seventh fifty on Day Three of final Test    Getty Images
Mitchell Starc completed his seventh fifty on Day Three of final Test Getty Images

Australia continued their dominance on Day Three of the final Test, building a lead of 124 against South Africa at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday. Mitchell Starc s cameo held nerves for Australia in the first session as he brought up his seventh fifty. Usman Khawaja got a well-deserved 145 and was provided the perfect send-off by the Adelaide Oval spectators after he was dismissed leg-before by Vernon Philander. Kyle Abbott and Kagiso Rabada ended with three wickets each while Philander bagged two wickets as Australia were bowled out for 383. It was a delightful moment for the chinaman bowler Tabraiz Shamsi, as he secured his maiden Test wicket. Josh Hazlewood remained unbeaten on 11 as both teams headed for early tea break. LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: Australia vs South Africa, 3rd Test at Adelaide

Khawaja and Starc, who built lead of 48 by the end of Day Two, took the lead past 50 runs with the former scoring some runs off Philander. The Adelaide Oval witnessed some exciting entertainment over the past two days and with Khawaja s century, it was an icing on the cake. Starc, inspired by Khawaja, continued to attack as he scored a boundary off Abbott building the lead further. However, South Africa once again struck early to stay ahead in the race. Philander pitched it on good length and Khawaja reacted late with the ball nipping back in and trapping him in front of the middle stump. Khawaja, whose dismissal got Proteas a sigh of relief, went ahead for a referral but had no success.

Australia were back to rebuilding phase with Starc and Hazlewood taking them ahead. Philander was punished by Starc as he smacked a short delivery for his first six. South Africa introduced spinners into attack when Australia s lead was around 80 runs. Shamsi was not spared and Starc smashed a boundary towards mid-on, inching closer to his seventh Test fifty. Starting with a six to Philander from boundary to Shamsi, Starc secured his seventh fifty in style and taking Australia s lead close to 100.

Just when Australia were nearing the 100-run lead, Rabada struck to remove Starc. Rabada pitched a length ball and Starc drove it on the up, providing an easy catch to the bowler who had recovered in his follow-through. Nathan Lyon smashed a boundary off Rabada, and helped Australia reach the 100-run mark as first-innings lead. However, Lyon did not last long and became the first wicket in Test cricket for Shamsi. The second day of the day-night Test witnessed Khawaja leading Australia s reply with his fifth Test century. Khawaja was involved in two crucial partnerships with Steven Smith for 137 runs and with Peter Handscomb for 99 runs respectively. On his debut, Handscomb did well to reach half-century.

Brief Scores:

South Africa 259 for 9 (Stephen Cook 40, Faf du Plessis 118*, Quinton de Kock 24, Tabraiz Shamsi 18*; Mitchell Starc 2 for 50, Josh Hazlewood 4 for 36, Jackson Bird 2 for 57) trail Australia 383 (Usman Khawaja 145, Steven Smith 59, Peter Handscomb 54, Mitchell Starc 53; Kyle Abbott 3 for 38) by 124 runs.