LIVE South Africa vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 4 at Durban: Cricket score and updates

Catch the live score and updates from Day 4 of the 1st Test between South Africa and Australia

FirstCricket Staff, March 04, 2018

Day 3 Report: Steve Smith's failure did nothing to slow Australia's march toward expected victory in the first Test against South Africa as the tourists batted through the entire third day on Saturday to build an imposing lead of 402 runs.

Smith was out for 38 lbw to part-time spin bowler Dean Elgar, the first time in six Test innings that the Australia captain hasn't passed 50.

But 53 from opener Cameron Bancroft, and contributions from Smith, David Warner (28) and Shaun Marsh (33) ensured Australia moved on to 213-9 at stumps, having opened its second innings at the start of the day.

Faf du Plessis and Steve Smith, captain of South Africa and Australia respectively. Reuters

Faf du Plessis and Steve Smith, captain of South Africa and Australia respectively. Reuters

With a lead of 189 from the first innings, Australia was in complete command despite the three wickets each for spinner Keshav Maharaja and quick bowler Morne Morkel and two for pacer Kagiso Rabada to go with Elgar's surprise strike.

Elgar, who had bowled a total of six overs in Tests in the last two years, got the No 1-ranked Test batsman with the fourth ball he delivered. It straightened enough and hit Smith on the pad in front as he tried to sweep. Smith tried, also, to survive through a decision review and failed.

Australia did lose Warner and Usman Khawaja (6) reasonably early at Kingsmead but that didn't affect the tourists' rapid run rate before lunch — they were going at over four an over in the first session — as they built a dominant position in the series opener.

Bancroft's half-century ended a run of poor form when he went seven innings without a 50. He got to his half-century with a hook for four off Morkel, one of 10 fours for him before he came down the track to spinner Maharaj and was stumped just a few minutes before the lunch break.

Bancroft and Warner put together a 56-run opening stand, playing with positive intent before Warner played a mistimed pull to substitute fielder Wiaan Mulder off Rabada. Maharaj had Khawaja caught off the glove for the first of his three wickets.

After Smith went, Mitchell Marsh fell to Rabada via Hashim Amla's 100th catch in Test cricket. Tim Paine was out to Maharaj and Morkel collected his three in the final session.

Smith's 38-run stand with Shaun Marsh was the next-best after the half-century the openers put on, but Australia was still dictating the pace of the game by the time bad light stopped play.

Australia had put the Test seemingly well out of reach of the home team, which now needs to make its highest ever fourth-innings score at Kingsmead to win, or bat for a long, long time to survive for a draw.

Australia is in a winning position in Durban after making 351 all out batting first and then dismissing South Africa for 162 in its first innings, with left-arm pace bowler Mitchell Starc taking 5-34.

That gave the Aussies their large first-innings lead and the early momentum in the first four-test series played between the countries since 1970.

With inputs from AP

Updated Date: Mar 04, 2018

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3634 125
2 South Africa 3589 112
3 Australia 3499 106
4 New Zealand 2354 102
5 England 3772 97
6 Sri Lanka 2914 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5751 125
2 India 5492 122
3 South Africa 3842 113
4 New Zealand 4602 112
5 Pakistan 3279 102
6 Australia 3548 101
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 3270 131
2 Australia 1894 126
3 India 3932 123
4 New Zealand 2542 116
5 England 1951 115
6 South Africa 2058 114