Australia’s Mitchell Johnson (left) and Nathan Lyon celebrate the wicket of Dale Steyn (not in picture) during the third day of the third Test match against South Africa at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town, yesterday.
CAPE TOWN: Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris bowled Australia, leading by 234 runs with 10 wickets left, into a winning position on the third day of the third and final Test against South Africa at Newlands yesterday.
Australia were 27 without loss in their second innings at the close, having bowled the home team out for 287 and decided not to enforce the follow-on. David Warner blazed his way to 25 not out while Chris Rogers was unbeaten on one.
Johnson took four for 42 and Harris claimed three for 63 after visiting captain Michael Clarke declared their first innings on the overnight score of 494 for seven, leaving himself undefeated on 161.
Left-arm paceman Johnson maintained his red-hot form and seamer Harris swung the ball both ways to bamboozle the South African batsmen.
“We bowled really well as a team and worked hard to get that ball to go and reverse which was important,” Johnson said in a TV interview.
“We saw the ball wasn’t swinging normally so we tried to rough one side up and thankfully it worked really well.
“If you hit the wicket hard there is enough there and there was a little bit of variable bounce as the ball got older. It’s a bit like an Adelaide wicket, it will be lbws and bowleds later in the game,” added Johnson.
Harris removed dangermen Graeme Smith for five, Hashim Amla for 38 and JP Duminy for four.
The dismissals of Smith and Duminy were similar, balls that shaped away from the left-handers and found the edge to give wicketkeeper Brad Haddin comfortable catches.
Amla succumbed to reverse swing, playing down the wrong line as the ball clattered into his stumps.
“I love being at the other end bowling with Ryan,” Johnson said. “And you can’t forget James Pattinson coming in, he has been sitting on the sidelines for a long time but he did really well.”
Pattinson took two wickets and only Faf du Plessis (67) and Alviro Petersen (53) showed serious resistance, the latter scoring the fasTest half-century by a South African against Australia in 50 balls.
It beat the previous record of 56 deliveries by Barry Richards in Durban in 1970.
Vernon Philander hung around for 107 balls for his unbeaten 37 while Dale Steyn pitched in with 28.AFP