Adelaide: South Africa’s pacemen routed Australia’s batsmen with five late wickets to leave the hosts reeling at 111 for five at the close of day three on Saturday and give the visitors faint hope of pulling off an unlikely victory in the second Test.
Dismissed for 388 at tea to trail Australia’s massive first innings total by 162 runs, Rory Kleinveldt took three wickets in a withering pace assault, with fellow quicks Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel taking a wicket each as the Adelaide Oval pitch bared its teeth late in the day.
First innings hero Michael Clarke and Mike Hussey survived a nervous few overs as shadows crept across the ground, with the hosts stuttering to a still-precarious 273-run lead.
“What we did tonight in the last session was exactly what we needed to do to still have a sniff in the game,” all-rounder Faf du Plessis said, after scoring an impressive 78 on debut to help the Proteas avoid the follow-on.
Clarke, who scored a second consecutive double-century in the first innings, was on nine, with Hussey on five after a pulsating day in hot conditions.
David Warner and Ed Cowan pushed the lead to 239, before Kleinveldt ended their 77-run opening stand amid a superb burst of swing bowling.
Kleinveldt removed Warner for 41, the opener miscuing a swipe off his pads to produce a simple catch to Du Plessis at extra cover.