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South Africa in driving seat

Port Elizabeth: South Africa moved into a strong position on the third day of the second Test against Australia at St George’s Park on Saturday, but lost one of their four specialist bowlers.

Australia were bowled out for 246 in their first innings, giving South Africa a lead of 177, which they stretched to 369 by the close of play, reaching 192 for four. Hashim Amla returned to form with a sparkling innings of 93 not out.

But South Africa will be without left-arm fast-medium bowler Wayne Parnell when they attempt to bowl out Australia a second time. Parnell, who on Friday, took two wickets with his first three deliveries of the match, pulled up with a groin injury after bowling three balls in his ninth over.

Australia found themselves in unfamiliar territory in a dominant southern hemisphere summer, during which they have won six successive Tests, all by wide margins.

South Africa, though, looked more like the team that has surged to the top of the international Test rankings as they followed up a solid first innings with aggressive bowling to put Australia under pressure.

The tall Morne Morkel was particularly hostile, peppering the batsmen with numerous short deliveries as he took three wickets for 63 runs. Vernon Philander claimed three for 68.

South Africa were on top from the fifth over of the day when Philander had top-scorer David Warner caught at slip for 70 runs.

Nightwatchman Nathan Lyon, after standing up to a bumper barrage from Morkel, chopped a ball from the tall fast bowler into his stumps in the next over.

Steve Smith and Brad Haddin both survived chances as they added 40 for the seventh wicket before Haddin was bowled by Dale Steyn.

Mitchell Johnson hit a quick 27 before he was bowled in the over before lunch by off-spinner JP Duminy. In the previous over, Johnson had been struck a heavy blow on the helmet by a bouncer from Morkel.

Smith made 49 before he was given out caught behind off a faint edge from Morkel after a review by South Africa.

AB de Villiers helped Amla add 55 for the fourth wicket.