Mitchell Starc claimed figures of 4 for 80 on Day Four of the final Test © Getty Images
Mitchell Starc claimed figures of 4 for 80 on Day Four of the final Test © Getty Images

Australia were in complete command chasing a target of 127 set by South Africa, as they headed for tea break at 27 for no loss, needing another 100 to win. Australia’s David Warner and Matt Renshaw began their reply on a strong note, reaching 20 and 3 respectively. Australia remained in command on Day Four afternoon, claiming the remaining four wickets to bundle out South Africa for 250. Stephen Cook was the only batsmen to top-score with his second Test century and was the last man to be dismissed. Mitchell Starc ended with 4-for to keep Australia ahead in the game. Australia have lost five Tests on trot in a calendar year and will aim to avoid the sixth along with their first-ever whitewash at home. LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: Australia vs South Africa, 3rd Test at Adelaide

South Africa, who entered at 194 for 6 on Day Four, saw de Kock getting off the mark with a boundary to Nathan Lyon towards midwicket. But with introduction of Jacskon Bird, the left-hander was removed immediately. Umpire Nigel Llong denied the wicket that compelled the Australians to go ahead with a referral. With the DRS in place, the decision was in taken in support of the hosts as the delivery had pitched around middle and leg, leading to de Kock’s exit for 5. The next man in , Vernon Philander did not spare Bird the moment he arrived at the crease and opened his account with a boundary between the slip cordon and gully.

By the 80th over, South Africa surged to a 100-run lead. Cook was nearing his second century, batting on 93 when Australia took the second new ball. The right-hand batsman was running out of partners at the other end. Starc’s luck with the new ball began ewith a successful leg-before appeal against Philander, which was his third wicket of the innings. Meanwhile, Cook got his second century in style with a boundary off Josh Hazlewood. Cook remained a steady force amid the South African ruins, scoring his century off 235 deliveries. However, a short-ball from right-arm seamer and a dive from Matthew Wade behind the stumps lead to Rabada walking back for 7, leaving Australia with just a wicket to wrap up the South Africa innings. ALSO READ: Kevin Pietersen’s commentary zinger, Australia’s comeback sum up day

At the other end, Starc was seen ruling with the pink-ball as this time Cook was the man to exit for 104, cleaning up the batsman who looked set to carry his bat. Starc ended his innings with figures of 4 for 80. Chasing a target of 127, Warner and Renshaw began the innings for Australia. The former began with a boundary to Kyle Abbott to deep square leg and scored 7 runs in the first over. South Africa tried adding pressure on newbie Renshaw. When Philander was called into attack, there was an appeal for catch at the slips, ball taken by Hashim Amla at the first slip. However, umpire was not keen with South Africa’s appeal as the delivery had hit the thigh pad. South Africa still went for the review, and the referral went against the visitors, keeping Renshaw safe.

Australia’s opening batsmen sailed through 20 runs by 6 overs with 3 fours from Warner. By then Australia needed 107 to win. Australia have dominated South Africa so far with Usman Khawaja’s 145 along with crucial fifties from Steven Smith, Starc and Peter Handscomb. Starc shone with ball as well claiming four wickets followed by Nathan Lyon’s three. Hazlewood and Bird shared the remaining three wickets to bundle out South Africa on Day Four afternoon.

Brief Scores: 

South Africa 259/9 (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) & 250 (Stephen Cook 104, Hashim Amla 45: Mitchell Starc 4 for 80, Nathan Lyon 3 for 60) lead Australia 383 (Usman Khawaja 145, Steven Smith 59, Peter Handscomb 54, Mitchell Starc 53; Kyle Abbott 3 for 38) & 27/0 (Dvaid Warner 20*, Matt Renshaw 3*; Kagiso Rabada 0 for 5) by 100 runs