South Africa will have to pull off a minor miracle to save themselves from a series defeat.
Australia finished day three of the second Test with a 506-run lead and seven wickets in hand, and South Africa trudged off the field looking decidedly demoralised. Their last three wickets were cleaned up quickly this morning and they then bowled poorly throughout the day, compounding an already arduous task.
Phil Hughes continued his dominance over the Proteas, scoring a magnificent unbeaten 136. He was ably assisted by Ricky Ponting who was positive all the way to 81. The pair shared a 164-run second wicket partnership, making the much-vaunted Proteas attack look like a school third side.
Ponting finally fell, but at 219-2 his side were well in control already. Mike Hussey went cheaply but Hughes and Michael Clarke batted untroubled until bad light stopped play.
Ponting will probably be looking to set the Proteas around 500 to win. Given the diabolical batting performance of most of the Proteas’ batters to date, he’ll be justified to think that he could be celebrating a series win by the close of play tomorrow.
Australia 303-4 (1st innings)
Phillip Hughes 115, Simon Katich 108, Michael Hussey 50, Dale Steyn 3-83.
South Africa 138 (1st innings)
JP Duminy 73*, Mitchell Johnson 3-37, Andrew McDonald 3-25.
Australia 292-3 (2nd innings)
Phil Hughes 136*, Ricky Ponting 81.
South Africa trail by 506 runs
For the full scorecard, click here.