Published: Thu, April 05, 2018
Medical | By Vernon Walton

Aiden Markram slams century as Proteas take control

Aiden Markram slams century as Proteas take control

Australia's ball-tampering scandal came back to bite them when three replacement batsmen failed on a disastrous day for the tourists in the fourth Test against South Africa at the Wanderers Stadium on Saturday.

Australia made four changes from the last Test, replacing the banned trio with Joe Burns, Matt Renshaw and Handscombe.

The ongoing series between Australia and South Africa has been in the news for all the wrong reasons.

As a result‚ a disappointed Bavuma was left stranded on 95 off 194‚ after a 285 minutes knock that included 13 boundaries‚ as the Proteas were bowled out for 488 after 136.5 overs where Cummins returned with his second five-wicket haul at this venue.

The wicketkeeper was captaining Australia for the first time officially after standing in for Smith on the last day of the Cape Town test as the tampering plot broke last weekend.

In response, Australia looked crippled at 6-110, with only Usman Khawaja (53) offering genuine resistence to the hosts' pace and spin attack.

Australia assistant coach David Saker admitted the psychological strain of what the players had endured - the trashing of the team's image and the exile of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft - had an unescapable effect.

Only two Australians had reached double figures and at stumps they were relying on new captain Tim Paine, who was on 5, and Pat Cummins, on 7, and avoiding the follow-on was still 179 runs away.

With a 267-run lead in hand, South Africa made a solid start to their second innings as Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram put together a 54-run partnership before Markram was removed by Cummins for 37.

His 216-ball vigil ended when he steered Cummins to Mitchell Marsh in the gully, having brought up his 150 the delivery before with a sumptuous drive.

Australia have not lost a Test series in South Africa since 1970 and they will be determined to ensure their record remains intact. Burns, returning in extreme circumstances after being dropped after another Australian batting debacle against South Africa in Hobart 16 months ago, stretched for a Rabada outswinger and fell victim to a smart catch from Faf du Plessis moving across from second slip.

Saker also gave credit to the home side, who lead the series 2-1.

He has even caught the eye of perhaps the best batsman in the world today, India captain Virat Kohli having expressed his appreciation for Markram twice over Twitter, a week ago calling him a delight to watch, and on Friday responding just with emojis, words apparently unable to do justice to the South African's talents.

When stumps was finally called, Temba Bavuma had reached 25 and Quinton de Kock was unbeaten on seven.

South Africa continued on their merry way in the afternoon session, with Markram dominating the scoring, before Cummins nipped the ball off the seam to have Hashim Amla caught brilliantly by Handscomb in the slip cordon for 27.

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