Elgar comes into the attack, Steyn is replaced or may be is changing ends. Rogers drives it through cover for four, after Johnson takes a single. Rogers moves on to 94. Rogers sweeps the last ball of the over for four to deep square leg, he moves on to 98.
Philander continues from the other end. Rogers edges it for four to fine leg, glances it very fine as Philander strays down leg side. Last hour of the day begins. A shout for lbw, the umpire gives it not out, Smith goes for the review. It looked close, height may be an issue as it hit Rogers on the top of the front pad. Replays show it was missing the stumps, Smith also has a word with Elgar and then he starts warming up. So a bowling change could be coming.
Rogers takes a single, Steyn will bowl to Johnson now. Steyn goes around the wicket to Johnson. Steyn takes it away from Johnson who edges it over the slips for four, brilliant bowling from Steyn. Down leg side, umpire gives it four leg byes to fine leg.
Philander comes into the attack, Johnson is the new man in. four dots and then Rogers gets a single. Australia 282 runs behind, SA need 4 wickets.
Steyn continues, Rogers gets a single, Haddin on strike. Haddin blocks it behind point for a single. Rogers gets an easy run on the leg side, Smith wants Haddin on strike against Steyn. Steyn bowls down leg and AB does well to take this. WICKET! Haddin plays all of this, Steyn goes through his defenses and Haddin is bowled, similar type of dismissal to the first innings. The tactic to keep Haddin on strike has worked.
Duminy to Rogers, a couple of dots Rogers trying to get a single. Rogers hits it to mid-on and runs hard, Amla hits the stumps but Rogers makes the run. Australia 163 for 5.
Steyn, fired up, runs in to bowl at Rogers. Rogers pushes it to third man for a single, Haddin on strike. Good over from Steyn.
Rogers blocks Duminy at the other end. Four overthrows and Rogers gets five runs, he pushes it into the leg side and short midwicket throws wide of the keeper. 50 overs gone, Australia 161 for 5.
Steyn comes into the attack, Rogers gets a single to third man. Steyn likes bowling the reverse swing against the right-hander, Clarke is on strike. WICKET! Clarke edges it and second slip takes the catch, Faf takes a good catch diving forward, Steyn gets his first wicket of the innings and celebrates furiously. Clarke goes for 1, Smith walks out to bat. WICKET! Smith is hit on the pads and straight in front of the stumps, Steyn strikes twice and is on a hat trick. Haddin comes out to bat, Steyn backed by the crowd.
Duminy comes into the attack. A few dots and then Rogers pushes it down the ground for a single. Just a single from the over.
A maiden from Morkel, Australia need 294 to win.
Clarke edges it, but it bounces a couple of times before going to the slips. Shouts for caught behind, Clarke almost edges it to the keeper. That could have been a big wicket, only Philander thinks its out. A single from the last ball, Clarke gets off the mark.
Morkel continues, good over from him. A close call for lbw, but it was pitching outside leg so Rogers survives. Good maiden from Morkel.
A few dots and then Rogers pushes it through the off side for a single. WICKET! Marsh gets a full and swinging ball from Philander, catches him in front of the stumps and he is out lbw. Clarke comes out to bat, South Africa have two breakthroughs. Marsh goes for a duck.
Amla is the sweeper on the off side, Rogers drives it to him. WICKET! Morkel strikes, bowls it closer to Doolan and he edges it to Smith at first slip. Doolan goes for 5, Marsh walks out to bat, Australia 152 for 2.
A couple of singles and then Philander produces an edge and it lands short of Smith at first slip. Doolan gets a life again, may be the slips should be standing closer on this slow pitch. Australia go past 150.
Five dots and then a single from the last ball. Australia 149 for 1.
Three runs from the Philander over, Doolan looking to settle at the crease.
Morkel comes into the attack after tea. A maiden from Morkel.
Philander to start after tea, 34 overs to go today. Doolan chases one outside off and gets the edge, AB takes the catch. Umpires checking if it was a clean catch. Lucky for Doolan, it bounced in front of AB, Doolan survives. Doolan drives it through the covers, the fielder makes a good stop and gets a single. Australia 145 for 1 after tea.
This will be the last over before tea, Steyn runs in searching for a wicket. Shouts for caught behind, Rogers reaches out for it, AB takes the catch. Smith does not review it and replays show it may have been out. And that will be tea on day four.
Duminy continues just before tea. Rogers cuts it away for four to third man, there is no fielder there. Rogers then pushes it into the leg side and picks up a single.
Rogers pushes it into the off side for a couple of runs. A single brings Doolan on strike. Three from the over, Australia need 312 more to win.
Duminy starts his third over of this spell. A maiden from him, Doolan plays it out.
Steyn to Doolan, looking to angle the ball into the right-hander. A leg bye to Doolan, he is hit on the pads, but the ball is going down the leg side.
Duminy will continue, to the new man. Doolan blocks the first ball back to Duminy. Then he misses one outside off, AB takes a low one behind the stumps. Doolan pushes it behind point for a single.
Australia are 322 runs behind, South Africa have takes the first wicket and will look for more. Steyn brought back into the attack, the ball may reverse now, and there is a new man at the crease. A few slips and a couple of short covers for Steyn. A wide called by the umpire, Steyn pushes it wide on the off side. Rogers opens the face of the bat and gets the last ball for four to third man.
Duminy comes into the attack to replace Morkel. Warner is hit on the pads, Duminy spins the ball slightly, and the umpire gives it out. Warner and Rogers have a chat and Warner reviews it. Replays show its umpire's call, Warner is out. SA gets a WICKET! and Australia lose a review. Doolan trapped on the crease, shouts for a lbw, but the umpire gives it not out.
Elgar continues, the ball should start reversing soon. Rogers comes down the wicket and gets a single to long on. Warner hits it through the covers for four, good shot against the spin. Six runs from the over.
Morkel starts to Rogers, who pushes at it and gets to his 50 with a boundary to third man. Good knock from him and a good opening stand from this pair. Another push to third man and Rogers gets a couple of runs. A single to end the over.
Elgar tosses it up and does well to stop the ball as Rogers drives it back to him. Rogers drives the last ball down the ground for a single, he moves on to 49.
Warner pulls it into the leg side for four, too short from Morkel who starts a new spell. Warner pulls it square and beats the fielder at deep square leg for four. Warner goes for the pull, too early into the shot and Morkel hits him on the shoulder with a bouncer. Warner chips it over the top down the ground for a couple of runs.
Warner takes a single to bring up the 100 for Australia. Rogers punches it through the off side again for a single. Two from the over.
Warner pushes it through the covers and gets three runs to bring up his 50, excellent innings from him. South Africa need a spark from one of their bowlers. Rogers pushes it through the cover region and picks up two. Rogers pulls it square of the wicket for four, good shot against the bouncer. Australia 99 for no loss at drinks.
Elgar comes into the attack, Smith running out of ideas. Rogers takes a single to mid-off. A couple of runs from the over.
A bouncer going down leg from Steyn, Rogers goes for the pull shot and it misses the edge by a whisker. Rogers punches it through the covers for three runs. Just three from the over.
Warner comes down the wicket to Duminy and hits it straight down the ground for a six. Warner then works on to deep midwicket for a single. Rogers cuts the last ball of the over for a single.
Steyn steams in from the other end, a maiden in the end. Australians need 371 more.
Warner gets a single through mid-on, Rogers then pushes it through cover for another single. Three runs from the over.
Steyn comes back into the attack, Warner takes a single from the first ball. A single from the over.
Duminy starts his third over. Rogers pushes an overpitched ball through the covers for a single. Warner pushes it and Duminy dives but can't hold on to it, bumps into Rogers at the other end. Difficult chance, but a chance for South Africa and Warner gets a life.
Philander continues, Warner defends. A few dots and Warner flicks it for four to fine leg.
A couple of dots to start and then Rogers gets a single to deep cover. Rogers edges it and it flies past Smith at first slip for a couple.
Philander continues, Morkel is replaced by Duminy. A a single from the over, Australia need 387 more.
Duminy comes into the attack, Parnell is injured. Their hair styles look similar, bowling actions differ. A single to Warner, through the leg side, brings Rogers on strike. Roger works the ball through the off side to deep point for a single.
Philander runs in from the other end. Rogers pushes it just past the slips for four, thick outside edge, he was looking to go through the covers. Just the boundary from the over, South Africa looking for their first wicket.
Four, Warner hits it for four through point. Four more, Warner gets another boundary in front of point, back to back boundaries. Warner flicks it from outside off into the leg side for a four through midwicket. And four more, Warner edges it for four past the slips. Warner hits it through point again for a couple more. Good over for Australia.
Three dots and Warner gets a single because of a misfield. Rogers drives it through the covers again and gets four more runs. Five from the over.
A single from the Morkel over after lunch, he is bowling with some venom again, just like the first innings.
It is lunch on day four and Australian openers have survived the 33 minute burst from Steyn, Morkel and Philander. South Africa are in control, but need a few wickets to cement their position.
This should be the last over before lunch. Steyn comes back into the attack. Rogers leans into the drive and hits it through the covers for three runs, Amla does well to chase it down and stop the boundary. Warner edges it through the gully region for three runs. It is lunch on day four, Aussie openers survive.
Morkel starts his second over, South Africa will be looking for a wicket or two before lunch. Rogers gets a pitched up delivery and hits it through the covers for a couple of runs, JP gives chase. They want two runs, but decide against it, Rogers gets a single through the leg side.
Philander continues from the other end, just a single from the over. Australia need 427 more to win.
Morkel comes into the attack, he will be trying to do what he did in the first innings. Rogers pushes it into the leg side for a single. Just a single from the over.
A couple of singles, Philander starts his second over. Warner edges it, it falls just short of AB and flies away for four. Morkel is loosening up. Australia 20 for no loss.
Highest fourth innings total on this ground has been 273. A few dots and then Rogers hits it down the ground for four. It was pitched up and Rogers helped himself for four runs. Another shot down the ground, this also races away for four. Eight from the over.
Philander runs in from the other end, Warner takes a couple of runs, Philander finishes his first over.
Warner and Rogers will look to attack, South African quicks will come down hard on the Aussies, this will be a cracking session just before lunch. Steyn starts the 33-minute burst from South Africa. Four, Rogers drives it through the covers for four. No Parnell in the field, so South Africa could be a bowler short. Another drive through the covers and Quinton is quick to stop that, good save.
South Africa declare the innings on 270, Smith surprising everyone with the declaration. Captains usually change into their whites before calling players back in. He had shown no signs he was going to declare any time soon, and suddenly he got up and waved the players in. Australia will need 448 runs to win and SA need 10 wickets.
A single to Amla, quick run. Duminy drives it through the covers for four, 17 runs from 17 balls for Duminy so far. Another single from South Africa. Smith declares the innings, SA lead by 447.
Three singles from the Lyon over, SA lead by 440 now.
After the drinks break, Amla starts off with a boundary through midwicket. A single to Amla and then Duminy hits it through mid-on for another four. A couple more to end the over, the lead is 437 runs now.
Lyon continues, there is a breeze around the ground. A couple of singles, and then Duminy plays out the rest of the over.
Amla takes a single to deep cover to start the over. Duminy takes another single, no intentions of a declaration. Steyn is seen doing shadow practice with the bat. Amla hits it through the off side, Johnson at deep point puts in the dive to stop the boundary, SA 245 for 5 and the lead is 422 runs now.
Amla hits it over the bowler's head for a couple of runs. Then he takes a single to bring Duminy on strike. Duminy sweeps to get off the mark with a couple of runs. Five from the over.
Duminy walks out to bat, but Amla will be on strike to Siddle. Amla hits it for four through the off side, he drives it off his back foot. A single makes it five from the over.
De Kock comes down the wicket and hits it through the leg side for a single. De Kock edges it past slip for a single. WICKET! De Kock tries to push the pace of the game and edges it to Clarke at first slip, Lyon gets the wicket.
De Kock plays and misses the first ball from Siddle. De Kock works it into the leg side for a single. A couple more singles to keep the scoreboard ticking over. SA 227 for 4.
South Africa lead by 398 runs, Lyon comes in to bowl after the first half hour of play. De Kock edges the first ball, but it falls short of Clarke at first slip. Amla pushes the ball to fine leg, for a single. The lead goes past 400.
First bowling change from Australia, Siddle comes into the attack. De Kock hits it over short cover for four, another 50 run partnership comes up for South Africa. De Kock eases it away on the leg side for a single. Amla stands tall and pushes the bouncer into the leg side for a single. de Kock pulls the last ball to deep midwicket for a single.
Just a single from the Johnson over, SA lead by 393 runs.
Harris starts his third over today, De Kock hits it straight down the ground for four, brilliant shot to start the over. Then De Kock takes a single to bring Amla on strike. The field comes in as Amla is on 99. Amla hits it behind point for four, classy shot from a classy player, he brings up his 21st ton in tests.
Amla plays out four dots and then squeezes one through the point region for a single, he is on 99 now. De Kock takes a single to stay on strike for the next over.
Harris runs in, Amla throws his bat at it and edges it through second slip for four, moves on to 97. A single to Amla, South Africa bring up their 200 and Amla is on 98. De Kock gets hold of the last ball, hits it through midwicket for four, nine runs from the over.
Johnson runs in from the other end, a maiden from Johnson, de Kock is battling with his timing at the moment.
de Kock pushes the first ball past gully for a couple. Second ball of the day stops in the wicket and de Kock gets a top edge to short cover, Smith drops a difficult chance. De Kock takes a single to bring Amla on strike. Three runs from the over.
Hello and welcome to the day four of the Port Elizabeth test. Rain is expected to interrupt play tomorrow, so that will change the game. South Africa are in a good position with Amla at the crease, but they will be looking to bat aggressively and give themselves enough time to bowl Australia out.
Play starts at 10:30am SA-time tomorrow, and we're hoping for a bumper crowd here at St. Georges park alongside the brass band. They've had plenty to sing and dance about today - tomorrow could see them doing more of the same. We hope you'll join us for all the action tomorrow - Australia have a lot of work to do. Until then, goodbye for now.
That's all for day three here in Port Elizabeth - South Africa have now amassed a lead of 369 runs, with Amla leading their charge with a welcome return to form. For Australia, Peter Siddle and Mitchell Johnson bagged a pair of wickets each, but they will need to have a massive first session tomorrow to have any chance of preventing South Africa from setting them an impossible target. South Africa still have men in the hut to help them push on, but will be without Wayne Parnell in the field after he strained his groin whilst bowling this morning. Bear in mind that heavy rain has been predicted for Monday as well, and this game becomes even more interesting.
Lyon mixing his lengths up, pushing one through and trying to entice Amla with a shorter one and a length ball. No dice, Hashim isn't falling for that so late in the day and defends without looking troubled in the slightest. No runs there, and that's stumps called by umpires Dharmasena and Illingworth. It's been South Africa's day, there's not doubt about that, and Amla will resume in the morning on 93 not-out alongside young Quinton de Kock.
Last over of the day now, surely, with Nathan Lyon the bowler.
Oh goodness, yes - another drive from Hashim Amla to add to the many Kodak moments he's given us today. Four more, all along the ground between short-cover and short mid-on to take him into the nineties. Time might be too tight for him to go to a century tonight, but this innings has been worth the ticket price alone today. de Kock chips in late as well, clipping one off his pads square for a boundary that will certainly up his confidence - good shot!
Off-spin with a slip and short-leg is what Clarke is hoping will coax a wicket out of South Africa, but all that occurs is Amla coaxing a run for himself by turning a ball towards mid-wicket. Quinton de Kock stays calm, leaving well and nullifying the danger from around the wicket into the footmarks. Quiet over, really.
Another one from Siddle keeps a touch low, de Kock getting it away for a single as it moved off a length. Amla on-drives, this time helped by an inside-edge for one, and works yet another to leg for an umpteenth single in that area today. 12 overs remain to be bowled, but it's not going to happen by close of day, I'm afraid. Here's the off-spin of Nathan Lyon now - can he get his side a late wicket to spice up this game?
Johan de Wit in Liverpool: "Working this morning BUT enjoying the cricket in between my patients. Much better than a week or two ago." Depending on who you support, yes.
Thirteen minutes left in the day's play - close is scheduled for 6pm South African time. Here's Peter Siddle, the work-horse of the Australian attack. He's bowled well today for his captain.
Slightly odd shot from the baby-faced Quinton de Kock gets him one down to long-leg, sort of a flick-pull off Mitch, who didn't see amused at that at all. Oh dear, a catch has gone down behind the stumps as Hashim Amla played a leg-side delivery off his hip. Inside-edge, and a diving Brad Haddin got his left glove to it but couldn't grasp the chance. They get a single from it, and it's now Australia's turn to feel the frustration of a dropped catch after the Proteas put down two this morning. That will sting.
Short of a lenght and then full from Siddle, Hash not interested until he gets inside the line of the third delivery to turn it towards mid-wicket for another single to add to his score. de Kock gets forward well to bunt Sids down to long-off for his second run of the innings - he'll get to face Johnson for that.
Johnson tries to catch Amla by surprise with a slower ball around 125km/h, but the batsman deals with it easily. Two runs are driven into the covers to take Hashim into the eighties, and he evades yet another bouncer from the fiery Mitch. A scrambled single into the on-side from the over's last delivery sees the South African lead touch 350 runs.
We have a man standing at silly mid-on for de Kock, as well as a man at short-cover. No runs though, as the batsman defends as well as opening the face to push into the off-side. Maiden over, and he'll watch Johnson to Amla from the non-striker's end.
Amla taking guard against Mitch, but leg-directed bouncer doesn't test him too much as he moves out of the way - next one has a better line, enabling Hash to keep his eyes on it as he sways back out of harm's way. A single dropped into the point area gives Quinton de Kock the strike for the last two balls of the over. Johnson thunders in to the young left-hander...well-played, straight into line to defend well - good work, young lad. Last ball is better too, turned away square off his pads for the first run against his name. Didn't look too overawed there, positive sign.
Back-foot punch from Hash brings de Kock on strike against Siddle in his second-ever innings in Tests. First ball is a play-and-miss to one that didn't bounce as much outside off. Two slips lurk in the background, and there are already some chirps in his ear courtesy of the Aussie fielders. de Kock plays back sharply to the bowler, who in turn threatens a throw at his stumps. This is Test cricket, and Quinton will be relying on his ODI opening partner Hashim Amla for a few encouraging words as he faces up to this hardened bunch of Aussies.
Quinton de Kock makes his way out to the middle of St. Georges Park. Timely wicket for the Australians, courtesy of their danger-man - the lead for South Africa sits at 344. That was only the third time in his last 18 Test innings that AB has been dismissed below 30 - consistency.
Zap! Speedy bouncer from the Mitch pings off a ducking Amla's helmet and shoots away for four leg-byes. Seriously quick ball. Seemingly unperturbed, Hashim stays calm and drives past point for a single to let AB have a go at the Aussie spear-head...and that's out! AB has stuck his bat out at a ball going across him, Haddin gleefully snaffling it behind the stumps to give Johnson his second of the innings. A great visual partnership comes to an end, 55 runs it was, and AB de Villiers departs the scene for 29 from 39 balls.
I'm sure you may be tired of me typing this, but its four to Amla once more as he cover-drives beautifully off the back-foot, beating the field yet again in that area. Just masterful, really. There's no respite for Harris though as Amla rotates the strike - this time AB gets in a big stride to crash him through extra-cover for a boundary of his own. These two batting in tandem is causing big headaches for the men from Down Under, and it's like an action-replay for them as AB shows off a cover-drive of his own to rival his partner's - four again, really really quality batting by these two batsmen. Three fours in that over...spectacular.
Good pace already from Mitchell Johnson, but AB looks unflustered in working one away from his hips off the back-foot to deep mid-wicket, where a pursuing fielder keeps them to two runs. No apparent qualms from Amla either, easing one past point to pick up a single for his cause as well. Wonder if Michael Clarke has missed having the option of Shane Watson for a few overs here - he's often rewarded his captain with a crucial breakthrough. Meanwhile, South Africa are rattling along at 4.25 to the over.
A change of bowler, but a similar result - four more, courtesy of a drool-worthy off-drive by Hashim Amla. Opening the face this time to send it squarer, that was yet another quality shot in this innings from the beardy fellow, who dislocated his finger earlier on in the day, if you remember. That finger was popped back into place and strapped, but it doesn't seem to have affected the man's strokeplay at all. Maybe he should do it more often? A double-change from Pup, and here's Mitchell Johnson to have a go.
Harris replacing Siddle now.
Er, wow - what a shot off Nathan Lyon that is by AB. Rocked onto the back-foot with seemingly all the time in the world, picked up for an airborne four to mid-wicket. The ball didn't seem that short, but boy did de Villiers spot it quickly to pull authortitatively.
Siddle pays the price for straying towards leg, with Hashim using those famous wrists of his to flick to the square boundary for a sumptuous four. He's got some class, has Amla, and this innings has been a bit of a treat for the eyes in terms of strokeplay. David Warner then does well to stop a punch into the covers, running around from point to limit the batsmen to just one run. AB gets a single on the on-side as well, and that'll be drinks for all.
A leg-slip comes in now to keep Hashim company, but he moves away after a single past Doolan at short-leg gets AB to face Lyon. He, too, adds a single to the over's tally, this time punching one to mid-wicket easily enough. Still 25 overs remaining in the day's play - let's see if we can get all of them in.
South Africa's lead passes 300 as AB gets forward to defend, an outside edge streaking past a diving slip for four. His next boundary is far less chanceless, emulating Hashim Amla with a great cover-drive off the front-foot. That ball darted in off the seam, but AB cared not. Lovely to watch, and we've been fortunate to witness quite a few of those shots this afternoon.
Nathan Lyon toiling from around the wicket to these two righties, urging AB to clip one to the man he has stationed at silly mid-wicket. The batsman uses his feet to come out and smother a fuller one, played down towards Alex Doolan at short-leg. There is a single to be had for him, mid-on sitting fairly deep and the batsman cross after a back-foot punch from de Villiers.
Siddle has his tail, and his shirt collar, up - de Villiers would be a prize wicket to get at this stage. He tests AB by mixing up his pace, the odd slower ball and cutter, but the batsman remains calm. No runs from that over, a maiden. Siddle has 2 wickets for 24 so far in this innings.
Lyon once more, and de Villiers wastes no time in adding two singles to the scoreboard by working a couple of deliveries off his pads into the on-side. A busy player, right from the get-go, and he's been in some form so far in this series.
Three wickets down now - can Australia grab an opportunity to prise open this South African batting lineup? The lead is a few runs shy of the 300 mark.
du Plessis gets forward well to defend classically back to Peter Siddle, after leaving a wide one and having a fielder get in the way of a good on-drive. No matter, says Siddle, and he's got his man - OUT! Good line from the bowler on fourth-stump, perhaps moved away a touch to get Faf to edge it behind to an overjoyed Brad Haddin. The finger is up, and du Plessis has to go, walking back for 24. The partnership is broken at 70 runs, but that also means that AB de Villiers will be the new man in. He's in some form, and off he goes straight away with a scampered single that tested Hashim Amla as well as the fielder.
Nathan Lyon continues, trying to add to the five wickets he took in the South African first innings. Australia need to break this partnership, but so far Amla is defending the spinner well with a slip, short-leg and short mid-wicket breathing down his neck. Two runs from that Lyon over.
Oh yes, another four and it takes Hashim Amla to a very welcome fifty indeed! His team-mates applaud him, and that was a great on-drive square of mid-wicket to bring up his milestone. Australia have placed a deep mid-off to try and stop the cover-drives that he has been peppering the field with, and the man fields a couple there before Amla resorts to clipping yet another single to fine-leg instead. 28 fifties for Amla now, to go along with his 20 hundreds in Test matches. Fantastic record.
Another single turned to long-leg for the mighty Hash, and Faf shows some intent by coming down the track to try and clobber the ball past the bowler. Lyon fields well off his bowling to prevent the run, but du Plessis does get one from the next delivery to bring up the South African 100. Amla repeats his tickle around leg - however, the shot of the over is Faf's as he comes down the pitch again to drive the ball straight down the ground for four! Mid-off came across and dived in vain, impressive shot by the Proteas' new number-four.
More off-spin from Nathan Lyon now, replacing Peter Siddle.
Rhino returns. The fifty partnership arrives for these two, with yet another driven boundary off the back-foot. Amla continues to look good, after having been through a bit of a lean patch by his standards. His concentration lapse momentarily though as he has a little go at one outside off from Ryan Harris, shaking his head. A wristy flick to long-leg is better as the bowler errs on the straight side, a couple more added as he approaches a much-needed half-century. du Plessis has a waft at the last ball of the over that gets the bowler and Brad Haddin excited, but there's no love from the umpire for this shout and captain Pup doesn't want to review it either.
It's not just Mitch who's getting punched off the back-foot by Amla - Siddle is saved by a diving Chris Rogers, three more runs to Amla from another quality shot. However, Faf decides to take up the challenge his partner has laid down, sweetly driving a fuller ball wide of mid-on for a boundary of his own. Keep his head down and over the ball well, the timing on that will have pleased him.
Amla forces off the back-foot beautifully through the covers, and it's another boundary as the fielder can't get around in time to cut it off. Mitch looks rather peeved, and decides to try and tempt the batsman with a wider one that is a bit TOO wide, I'm afraid - Amla leaves. He adjusts quickly to angle it across a little bit closer to the stumps, but the batsman will have none of it, good bounce carrying through to the keeper. Last ball of the over spoils it though for the bowler, with Hash leaning into one and smoothly driving it to the square-cover boundary effortlessly to notch up yet another boundary in this innings. Pure class, that stroke was a joy to watch.
Silly mid-on installed for Amla, who slow-pulls Ryan Harris for one to deep-square. Did well to play that one, bounced a little more than anticipated but he rode it well. du Plessis picks up his second boundary for the over, tickling a wayward delivery well off his pads with a wristy touch. No man down there, and it's an easy four to finish the over with.
Some eagle-eyed folk have spotted Faf wearing Dale Steyn's shirt, evident by the letters "DS" embroidered on the sleeve. Interesting. Two runs for the shirt-borrowing batsman, working a ball away off the body towards the mid-wicket area, before dragging a ball from outside off for one more. Not sweetly-timed, but he did get enough on it that time to get it into the gap off Mitch.
Ryan Harris grabs the ball, running in to Hash who swivels to pull, although not perfectly-timed, to deep square for a single. A cat is spotted on the field, but bolts off quickly enough and disappears over the boundary hoardings without too much drama - quite odd, that. Meanwhile, Harris hits the outside-edge of one that bounced a little more than Faf expected, surprising him and racing away for four. He did well to drop the bottom hand off, ensuring the ball went along the ground, but it wasn't a confident shot by any stretch. Frustrating for the bowler.
Cool as a cucumber, Faf works the first ball back around to leg for a comfortable run. Hashim Amla is greeted with a bouncer, not quite 150km/h just yet from Johnson, but still nice and fast from the Aussie destroyer. It's beard versus moustache, and Amla calmly flicks one squre on the on-side to add another run to mid-wicket.
Right-oh everyone, time to get things underway for the last session of the day with Mitchell Johnson to Faf du Plessis.
Two wickets down, South Africa lead Australia by 235 runs at the tea break here on the third day at St. George's Park. Both openers have perished, Smith playing on to Mitchell Johnson for 14, and Dean Elgar falling prey to a catch at the wicket with 16 runs to his name. Amla and Faf du Plessis remain at the crease, hoping to extend their side's advantage and set the Aussies an imposing target to get the Proteas back on level terms in this series. Join us again in 15 minutes for the final session here in Port Elizabeth - firstname.lastname@example.org for all your questions, comments and thoughts on the day's play so far.
Lyon to Francois, batsman defends. The bowler now has a problem with the spikes on his shoe, perhaps slowing things down a little to try and see if there's a break in Faf's concentration? Who knows. A single down the ground opens the Titan's account in this second innings, before Amla tickles a ball away fine down leg to beat the fielder to the boundary rope for four. Well-played, soft hands and placed exquisitely by the beardy man - put the kettle on chaps, that's tea!
Much better from Hash after the scare in his last cover, a cover-drive for four runs that looked absolutely effortless. That will certainly give him some heart, and it also earned him a scowl from Siddle - mind you, those come a dime a dozen, don't they? Just a solo slip and a gully in place at the moment, but that doesn't prevent the mighty Hash from whipping out a replay of the shot earlier in the over. Another cover-drive, another sweet, sweet boundary to the bearded maestro, and it takes the Proteas past fifty as well. Last over before tea coming up, lads and ladies.
Appeal goes up as Amla gets well forward to be hit on the leg, and a stumping is made as the ball rolls to Haddin. The umpire at square-leg calls for the third-umpire to have a look, but Hashim was safe and sound there. However, he is beaten by a great ball that pitched just outside off and turned back in to beat the bat, stumps and keeper! Probing over from Nath around the wicket, two byes the cost for that pearler. Good, testing angle from the off-spinner, and these two will have to keep their wits about them, as the tea break looms large on the horizon.
Half-volley from Sids strays onto Hash's pads, and it's an easy single for the Durbanite. Elgar is defending well with the bowler coming around the wicket to him and testing him with length deliveries...and he takes the bait! Another length ball, and Elgar nibbles at it to gift an edge through to Brad Haddin behind. Gone, Siddle is ecstatic. The umpires quickly check for a no-ball, but it's a legitimate delivery from Victoria's own Sid Vicious, and Dean Elgar makes his way off the park for 16 from 46 balls. South Africa are 42/2, with a lead of 219 to greet Faf du Plessis.
Nathan Lyon is operating with a slip and short-leg to Dean Elgar, and he gets a good bit of turn from the rough outside the lefty's off-stump. Played well by the batsman. Good mix of flighted deliveries and the odd one pushed through by Lyon, and it's a maiden over as a reward.
Two runs as Amla wristily flicks away to leg, and the next ball is flicked for a single as well. Too straight from Peter Siddle, I'm afraid. Oh hello - Elgar pulls high and well into the vacant area in front of mid-wicket, the fielder puts in a dive...that's a magnificent effort to prevent the four. It was a close-run thing, but it seems that he's just done enough to save two runs for his side. Good job, Davey Warner! The batsman is fortunate to inside-edge the ball past the woodwork next-up though, down to fine-leg for one run. Ten overs done and dusted now, with South Africa on 41/1.
Slightly short to start from Nath, and Amla turns it around the corner with very little fuss. No more runs though as Elgar defends stoutly, denied a run by hitting one a little too well to mid-off, preventing the quick single. Double bowling change from Pup, as Peter Siddle grabs the ball now.
Bit o' spin now, chaps, as the hero of the first innings will have a go. Here's Nathan Lyon.
Cracked through square off the back-foot - lovely stroke from Elgar, sounded great off the bat and flew to the point boundary off Ryan Harris. He comes back well with a crafty ball indeed, slower one that tried to york the left-hander. Batsman does well to keep it out, looks like it was bowled cross-seam as well.
Elgar takes the lead past 200, watched the ball nicely on the pull and gets three runs, despite it not coming out of the middle of the bat. No-one out on the square boundary to catch that. Hashim gets forward to block before turning the bowler around the corner for one more. Dean gets another run to long-leg before Hash edges one past the slips for four runs...streaky! It was wide of the cordon and wouldn't have carried, but it was a far-from-confident stroke by the bearded number-three who would dearly love a return to form here.
Amla is due for a large score after struggling a bit in recent times - he's leaving Ryna Harris well at the moment, mindful of the two slips lying in wait for him. Fuller one gets the batsman forward to defend, it jagged back after pitching as well. Good bowling from Rhino, and it's a maiden over to his name.
Bowled - Smith is gone! Mitchell Johnson gets the captain yet again, and its an unlucky 13 runs for the Proteas' skipper today. Played forward and edged onto the stumps, very quick delivery. Big gap between the bat and pad, we've seen Smith go out that way many times in the past, I'm afraid. Hashim Amla strides in at number three for his side, bandaged finger and all. He does well to turn a riser away to fine-leg for a single from the first delivery he faces, and Elgar leaves before dropping his hands extremely well to wear a bouncer on the shoulder. Vicious ball, got into line and rode it out. Excellent from the Knights' opener - South Africa are 198 runs ahead, ending the over on 21/1.
A run for Elgar in the gap between cover and mid-off - these two will look to rotate the strike early on whilst blunting the express pace of Johnson. Great delivery from Ryan Harris angles across Smith, and he edges it for four through gully - lucky! The next shot is far more assured, with Harris' straighter line enabling him to work the ball to deep-square for one. Graeme Smith's love for the on-side is well-known, and the bowler was trying to get straighter and trap him in front.
Hashim Amla has been spotted all padded-up in the changing-room, left-hand ring finger strapped up after being dislocated earlier in the day. Smith does well to tuck a rearing ball off his hip for one, before Dean square-drives Mitch beautifully for four. Too full that time from the big moustache, and that's Elgar off the mark in style. Smith gets a snorter off the last ball of the over, 150km/h, but he gets up off his feet to jam it down. Played well in the end, vicious from Mitch.
Ryan Harris bowls, Smith fending a thick-edged shot past the slips for two runs, before shovelling one to mid-wicket for one. Word on the street is that Wayne Parnell will bat if required, but there'll be no more bowling from him in this match. Not ideal for the Proteas in their quest for a series-levelling win here in Nelson Mandela Bay.
Bit of needle as Johnson is halted by Biff as he runs in - Clarke is not happy with that, running in from slip to have a word with Smith. Seemed a bit unnecessary there, but all part of the gamesmanship and one-upmanship there can be in modern cricket, I suppose. No matter, says Graeme,.and he smacks Mitch off his pads to the square boundary for four from his first ball! Action aplenty at the start, here. He does well to drop his hands in leaving a shorter screamer, and they scamper a leg-bye to one that angles into Smith's pads. Elgar does well too, getting well into line and defending solidly. He definitely looks more impressive at the top of the order than he has in the middle-order for the Proteas, good start.
Graeme Smith and Dean Elgar are out there already, ready to go. Mitchell Johnson has a fresh, new cherry in his hand. The band is playing the South African anthem. Three slips and a gully. Here we go!
South Africa will be looking to post the Australians a formidable total, bearing in mind that heavy rain is predicted for Port Elizabeth on Monday, and that Wayne Parnell is off the field with a groin strain. Will they up the tempo in setting Clarke's boys a target? Mitchell Johnson remains a threat, despite only one wicket first time out, and the spin of Nathan Lyon will certainly be a weapon for the tourists on this pitch.
These two continue to frustrate the Proteas, both bunting singles down the ground to the fuller deliveries, ducking out of the way of the short-pitched stuff. Both Peter Siddle and Harris can certainly bat, as they've show several times over the last couple of years - Siddle memorably top-scoring with fifties in both innings in a Test in India last year alone. A boundary in front of square now courtesy of Rhino's blade takes their partnership to 37 handy runs, but it's all over now - OUT! Harris drives at Morne, takes the edge and taken at second slip by Faf du Plessis. Australia all out for 246, South Africa 177 runs to the good. Harris did well with 26 from 26 balls; 3 for 63 for Morne Morkel and 3 for 68 for Big Vernon Philander.
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Strangled appeal for LBW against Harris, smacked on the pads by a ball that would have missed leg-stump quite comfortably. Leg-bye - Dale Steyn then gets one to dart back beautifully off the seam, but Siddle misses with a clueless prod. Great bowling by Steyn! A single into the on-side has the South African fileders shouting as Siddle thought about going for a second, deciding against it in time as the throw came back in to keeper de Villiers. Steyn is beating the bat against these two well, but the edge hasn't come just yet.
Siddle gets a single away to fine-leg, before Ryan backs away early and has a wild swat at one that could easily have taken the nick. Morkel is thrown off completely, and possibly anticipates the same off the next ball - he spears it way down leg, beating AB de Villiers behind the twigs. They run through for one, and it's two wides called by the umpire. Morne has a grin on his face, that was a bit of a double-bluff there. Siddle has a go at a full ball outside off to be beaten, but does put the last ball of the over away for four behind-square, Morne getting his line wrong again. First four of the innings for Sid Vicious.
Thwack, six runs over mid-wicket by Ryan Harris as he middles one properly off the back-foot! That shot saves Australia from the follow-on target, and he celebrates by edging a drive past the solitary slip for four more. You really should have more than one slip to a tail-ender, surely. Philander gets Harris defending, adjusting his line well, but there's still ten runs taken off this over. Good job by Ryan, with the deficit now under 200 runs.
Whoops, a wild swish outside off to a lifter from around the pegs is lucky not to take Siddle's edge there. He does manage to drop one into the leg-side, scampering through as the man at short mid-wicket runs in to clean things up. Nice tap into the covers from Harris adds another single, five runs left to avoid the follow-on...big appeal for caught-behind down the leg-side, and not given. Siddle was trying to fend it away off his hip, and they've taken the DRS review again. Nope, no luck - missed everything, and that's a waste of a review by the South Africans. If only they'd reviewed the one off Siddle in Morkel's previous over instead...tsk tsk tsk.
Vernon Philander is back to try and winkle out one of these two remaining Australian batters - Ryan Harris bunts one to cover for a single, wild throw luckily not going for over-throws there. Siddle mis-times a pull shot, still able to go through for a single as it's in the gap past short-fine-leg. Short-arm jab-pull (yes, that's a shot now, folks) is cracked away past mid-on for a four to the Rhino. Hit that hard!
Is that a catch behind from Smith? AB goes up, Morne goes up....not out, says the umpire. Graeme Smith reviews it immediately! Hotspot doesn't show anything, but there is a tiny flicker on RealtimeSnicko...is it enough to overturn the on-field decision? Yes! He's gone, and Darren Lehmann does not look happy with that at ALL. There was no visible gap between bat and ball as it went past, and the third ump has decided that RTS was enough to overturn it. Smith goes one-short of fifty, and Australia are now nine-down, nine runs short of the follow-on. Vicious first ball for Peter Siddle to face, bouncer that has him ducking as far down as he can get...they go up for a catch behind, but not given again. Replays show the ball juuuuust kissing the glove on the way through - missed by the umpire! Short-cover, short-leg, short-point...pressure on!. Morne hits the batsman twice in two balls, with Sid Vicious trying to pull the bowler from around the wicket. Brutal over from the tall South African, and he should have two wickets there to close out the innings.
Terrible first ball after the break from the bowler, long hop on leg and Ryan Harris easily clouts it away behind square on the leg-side for four. Ergh. JP figures out his proper line quite quickly after that, getting Rhino to defend out the remaining two balls of the over. Morne Morkel will take up the challenge at the other end, with Steven Smith waiting patiently on 49.
Welcome back, folks. Time for the afternoon session to kick-off, with Duminy finishing up the over that he halfway through when he got the wicket of Johnson to signal lunch. Peter Siddle is the new man in, facing.
93 runs in the morning session for Australia, with just the batting exploits of Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris left. South Africa will be hoping to clean up the tail quickly after lunch, with the prize wicket of dangerman Steve Smith high on their priorities. Join us in around 45 minutes for the afternoon session, won't you? Fire off an email to firstname.lastname@example.org as well, while you're at it. Let us know your thoughts on today's play so far, as well as any other cricketing gobbledegook you can think of. We'll publish the best ones up here - 'til then, bye for now.
What perfect timing from JP Duminy - last over before lunch, Mitchell prods forward and misses one that doesn't turn. Bowled,.off-stump, and the South Africans will be ecstatic. They've dropped two catches in this session, but they've also taken four wickets to have Australia 205/8. Steve Smith is still there, importantly, on 49, with Wane Parnell in the hospital for a groin-scan on the Proteas' side. Exciting session, that!
"Hello Mitch", says Morne as a shorter one thuds into Johnson's hip as he played back. An absolute thunderbolt next-up is on Mitch way too quickly, binging him on the helmet as he tries to hook it away! The fielders all go up for the catch, but it was square off the front of the helmet, and the Aussie team physio comes out on the park to check on the premier fast bowler. The crowd is absolutely crowing at that, letting Mitch know how much they enjoyed seeing the shoe on the other foot. Back again, another awkward shorter one has Johnson taking his eyes off the ball completely and managing to get bat on it to trickle down to fine-leg for a single, and some time at the non-striker's end instead. Fiery over from Morkel - imagine both him and Johnson in the same bowling attack. Frightening! Steve Smith pulls a bit more confidently to mid-wicket, adding a single to his total with two more needed for a half-century.
Australia go past 200 as Mitch throws the bat, outside-edge taking it down to the third-man boundary where it's reeled in at a cost of just two runs. Smith is all defence though, getting forward well and playing out Duminy's over of off-spin with little fuss.
Morne Morkel returns to the attackAnother four, this one edged along the ground between first and third-slip to race away. Frustrating for the bowler, and Smith is now closer to another Test century - remember, folks, that he was dropped early on in his innings by Robbie P at square-leg off Dale Steyn. Peterson is on the field for Hashim Amla, who dislocated a finger with a diving effort an over or two before.
Blammo! Here comes Mitchell Johnson, but with the bat this time. JP Duminy is made to pay for some poor bowling, a straight-drive hammered down the park for four runs and a big six clobbered wide over long-on. Half-volleys are going to be punished more often than that, and Mitch has more than enough power and skill with the bat in hand to do some damage.
Around the sticks comes Dale Steyn to Mitch, who gets a thick edge past gully again for two runs, the second time so far that he's played that shot. Steve Smith clips a single off his pads as well as another single past the man at cover, before Mitch gets himself another four. Wide ball from Steyn that was overpitched, driven uppishly through cover for the boundary. Diving fielder couldn't stop it, and Johnson goes into double-figures.
Four runs to Mitchell Johnson, driving Duminy to cover for four. That was a half-volley that deserved the punishment it received - we've just heard that Parnell has a groin strain, and has been taken to hospital. Not good news for the Proteas, that.
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A fired-up Steyn is intimidating at best, and Steven Smith is defending well so far with a straight bat, getting behind the line well. No runs, all defence, and a maiden over from the Phalaborwa Express. The band have arrived, and are warming up with a rendition of an Eddie Grant classic, a staple of their repertoire. Rory Kleinveldt is the man on the field for the crocked Wayne Parnell - we're not sure what his injury is yet exactly, as we wait for word from the team physio.
Steve Smith turns the first one round the corner for a lazy single, bringing Mitch up to face. Duminy's right-arm off-spin will be aiming for the rough outside the left-handed batsman's leg-stump, left there by Parnell and Mitch himself. Johnson defends solidly though, smartly driving to cover as well with no reward. Decent start for Jean-Paul. Australia 171/7, 252 runs adrift of South Africa's first-innings total.
JP Duminy will have a bowl now, sunglasses and all.
HUGE shout for LBW from Dale Steyn as the ball slams into Brad Haddin's pad, but that was going down leg folks. Not-out was the umpire's call, and Graeme Smith wisely doesn't plump for a DRS review - Hawk-Eye showing the ball missing leg-stump easily. Bit of frustration perhaps showing from the South Africans...and boom, it's released as Haddin misses a straight one completely! Middle-stump out of the ground, fist-pump from Steyn who roars as his fielders descend on him. Out, and that's Brad Haddin removed for 9 to leave Australia seven-down for 170. The new man in is Mitchell Johnson, and you can be sure that Dale will give him some of the treatment he's been dishing out to the Proteas batsmen in kind. Two runs though, squared Mitch up to edge through the gully area, not convincing to start from the Aussie speed-demon.
Parnell in to Haddin, who turns him towards fine-leg who races in...they go for two runs, and the fielder fires the ball in. Hands on heads, as the shy misses with Haddin short of his ground as he came back to the keeper's end - so close, but it was a chance. Oh dear, and now there's more bad news for the Proteas as Parnell pulls up - he appears to have picked up an injury, and won't be able to finish his over. Hashim Amla is already off the field for a disclocated finger - Dean Elgar will bowl some left-arm spin to finish off the over for his captain, three deliveries. Just a single down to long-on is conceded, and the 40th over of the innings has been a rather eventful one, wouldn't you say?
Erp, four more runs as Smith edges to ground past the two slips for four...no third-man. Steyn gets one a bit too full, enabling Steve to drive hard into the covers, but a diving de Kock does very well to get in the way and prevent the runs. Good determination from the debutant, who most people will be used to seeing behind the stumps rather than patrolling the covers. Dale Steyn is made to pay this time as he strays too straight, and Smith shows his strength through the leg-side as he tucks it away for four past mid-on. More runs for Smith, who is scoring rather freely.
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Smith makes the most of his second life out there, flicking one beautifully past mid-on for what seemed like an effortless boundary. Still scoring at a decent lick, he gets another length ball away for one - Haddin square-drives Parnell solidly, but a good diving stop at point from JP Duminy prevents a certain four. Good stuff, only one run. Time for drinks, and South Africa will have a bit to think about as they chug down some energy drinks.
Dropped - another one in this innings! Robin Peterson fluffs it this time, on the field for Amla, as Smith turned a fuller one in the air straight to him at square-leg. Into the hands and down, as he crouched down to take it. Sitter, really, and South Africa's bizarre epidemic of dropped catches continues in this series. Dale Steyn must be furious, as are the crowd that have come in so far this morning. Smith is in good form, having already helped himself to a ton at SuperSport Park - the Proteas can be punished heavily by letting chances like these slip. The 150 comes up for the Aussies with a single off the last ball of this over.
Smith leaves well outside off, Parnell's natural angle across him not tempting him so far. He adds three runs to his total by pushing past square-leg, making Quinton de Kock run hard to rein it in. The bowler gets up to 141km/h, still warming up perhaps. Steady over to start for the man from the Chevrolet Warriors.
Double bowling change sees Wayne Parnell marking out his run-up at his home ground. He'd love to add to his two wickets yesterday afternoon with his left-arm pacers.
Phwoarrr, great ball from Steyn has Haddin instinctively playing away from his body outside off - a hair's width away from an edge. Super stuff from a man just starting his spell. Two slips and a short mid-wicket in place, and that man fields one that Haddin clips away now. We've had word that Amla has dislocated a finger with that diving effort in the gully a few overs ago, and he should be fine...once the physio snaps it back into place, of course. Ow. Maiden over to start from Dale Steyn, and there's no let-up now that Morkel is taking a breather.
Classic cover-drive from Steve Smith, textbook stuff seeing the ball race across the turf for four. Timed really well by the Aussie number six, and he gets another to mid-wicket, not stopped by the diving fielder. Philander lost his line a bit there with the last ball of his over, and Smith is rollicking along with 21 from 18 balls thus far. Here comes Dale Steyn now to replace Morkel for his first over of day three. St. George's licks it's lips.
Amla sitting in the dressing-room with his left-hand bandaged. Let's hope it's not a serious bang on the hand for the classy number three.
Vicious stuff from Morne as Steve Smith gets across his stumps and tries to work the ball away off his mid-riff, missing everything. He swivels to pull, but plays the ball straight down into the turf, trying to show intent against this short-pitched assault around the wicket. He does manage to pull a single to fine-leg, but that's an extremely awkward length at serious pace to deal with at the moment. Haddin ducks under the next one, and these two New South Welshmen are hanging in there. I wouldn't want to face Morne Morkel in this mood at the moment.
Edge falls shout of Graeme Smith at slip - Philander probing away with a great line to the right-handers this morning. Oh dear, another edge from a back-foot flash from Brad Haddin that goes for four via the hand of a diving gully fielder! Very close, good effort, but Brad lives on. That stung his hand, and he's run off the field for some attention, Hashim Amla. No doubt some magic spray will be applied, hopefully nothing too serious. Australia living dangerously in the face of some good bowling this morning.
Gone! Lyon falls to Morkel, whose around-the-wicket approach works like a charm by having the batsman backing away to try and fend into the covers. Edged onto the woodwork, and that is a wicket through intidation for the tall Titans fast bowler. That's the first time in eight innings that Nathan Lyon has gone out, an impressive stat for a tail-ender who has definitely showed fight for his side. He has to go for 15, and six-down now for the tourists. Stalwart Brad Haddin is summoned to the middle, and his partnership with Smith crucial now to Australia's chances of getting near South Africa's first-innings total. Positive player, the wicket-keeper, and he glances beautifully through the gap as Morne gets too full - four runs. He scored heavily in the recent Ashes, and is most certainly in good touch with the bat. Australia still 290 runs in arrears.
OUT! That's a big one for South Africa as David Warner perishes with a loose cover-drive, edging to slip where the captain holds on. Gone for 70, Australia lose their fifth wicket to bring Steven Smith out to the middle. Philander has his third wicket for the innings so far. Hmm, an easy introduction to the crease for Smith, the bowler presenting him with straight balls heading towards leg which he easily turns away off the face of the bat for a couple of boundaries.
Warner gets a run working one to leg, bringing the nightwatchman on-strike. Lyon continuing to show grit and determination as Morkel sends down fireballs at him - appeal from the bowler as they go up for a catch behind the wicket, but "not-out" is the verdict from moustachioed ump Richard Illingworth. Great ball from Morne that came in off the seam at pace, zinging past Lyon as he played back defensively. The ball clipped his leg on the way through to the keeper, and a good decision by the English official. Great delivery, and the bowler decides that a bouncer from around the wicket will be a good way to keep Lyon in check next - the batsman obliges, missing whilst trying to hook extravagantly. Morkel won't mind that! Fiery over.
There's a silly mid-on in place for Lyon as Philander bustles in, but he gets his length wrong to be clipped into the on-side for a couple. First shout of the morning for LBW, but it's snuffed out quickly as Vern himself realises that the ball was heading way down leg and shouldn't have bothered. Good bounce for the Cobras seamer this morning, but he'll have to keep probing away for now.
Textbook forward-defence from Nathan Lyon as three slips lie in wait, and he drops the hands nicely as one darts back at him from Morne Morkel. Well played, but the next one hits him as he turns away and ducks his head. Ouch, wore that on the mid-riff. Morkel is bowling in the mid-140km/h range so that was, shall we say, brisk. Good composure from Lyon as he taps the next ball into the covers for a single. Morne has started well this morning, following on from his form yesterday.
First ball of the day from Vernon Philander gets Warner fending away through gully for a couple, wihout looking too confident in the shot. An overpitched one on leg is glanced away for two more behind square. He's had a fair bit of luck over the last two games, but the way the belligerent left-hander plays, you'll always have a chance against him.
We're all set, folks - the umpires are ready, Warner is marking his guard - get set for a great day's worth of Test cricket!
The Proteas were out on the field a short while ago practising their slip catches - that area of their game has faltered a bit in these first two Tests, and it's an area they have normally been so good in since the return from isolation. They'll need to grasp every chance that comes their way today if they're to get a significant first-innings advantage over Michael Clarke's side.
David Warner and Nathan Lyon were the two batsmen who took Australia to stumps last night - Warner not-out on 65, chasing a second consecutive Test century, and night-watchman Lyon on 12. For the locals,. Wayne Parnell and Vernon Philander picked up two wickets each to have the Aussies in disarray, and there could have been more hurt had some catches been held and a DRS review called for - the Proteas will be looking to force the point home in the first session this morning. Lovely sunny day in Port Elizabeth, and batting could become easier as the day goes here at St. George's Park.
Hi there, and welcome to day three of the second Test in PE, where the Aussies are in a spot of bother at 112 for four, and could have been worse if not for a few dropped catches by the Proteas. The sun is shining for a change, so there should be some swing, and maybe a bit more pace in the pitch. As always, send your views on the game to us: email@example.com. Play will start in 30 minutes.
Australia are 112 for 4 after 25 overs at the end of day two. A couple of dropped chances and a missed review, makes the score look more respectable than it should have been. Morkel bowled really well with Parnell, both of them unlucky with the dropped catches. Good intensity from South Africa, but Warner has managed to survive and score 65 runs.
Warner to face Parnell. He blocks the first ball and then Parnell pitches it short and Warner hits him through the covers for four. A full toss on leg stump and Warner takes a single to mid-on, Lyon on strike for three balls. Lyon survives again, he pushes at it and Duminy drops it in the gully. Parnell is disappointed, very unlucky for the bowler. Lyon survives the over.
Warner hits it in the air on the leg side, there is no fielder there so he is safe. Steyn bowls the second last over of the match. Lyon drives it through the covers for four, the field in inside the circle, and Lyon takes a stride forward and drives it well. Lyon leaves a bouncer, then blocks one to the ground in front of the short leg. Lyon is caught down the leg side, there was a definite edge, but the umpire does not hear it. They don't go for the review and replays show it would have been out.
Parnell comes back into the attack, Morkel gets a rest after a 7-over spell. Short leg, silly point, three slips and a gully for Lyon. A maiden from Parnell.
Steyn brought back into the attack, Warner cuts the first ball for four through deep point. Warner pushes it into the leg side for a single, Lyon on strike. Steyn steams in to bowl at Lyon, Lyon pushes it into the off side for a single. Warner hits it through the covers for a couple of runs. The 100 comes up for Australia.
The light meter comes out, umpires look at the light and decide the play will go on. Morkel will have another over, lots of sting from him today. Warner hits it to deep square leg for a single, Lyon on strike. Good delivery from Morkel, quick, bouncy and angling across Lyon and just misses the edge. Lyon pushes at the straighter one, glances it to fine leg for four. Three slips, a gully, two short legs, a short cover in place for Lyon. Morkel goes over the wicket for the last ball.
A slightly misdirected ball from Philander to start the over, would have been a wide in an ODI. Warner pushes it into the leg side for a single to fine leg. Lyon pushes it into the leg side for a single, brings Warner on strike on 49. Warner punches it through the leg side and brings up his 50, well played but he also had many chances in this innings. A leg bye to end the over.
Morkel will continue, bowling to Warner. Warner goes for the pull, only to get a bottom edge on it and it bounces in front of AB. Warner gets another life. Another brilliant ball from Morkel, bowls it wide and full, Warner swings and misses. Warner flicks it on the leg side for a single, Lyon on strike for the last two balls. Morkel hits Lyon on the helmet, good short ball. Lyon survives.
Philander comes back into the attack, 8 overs remaining in the day. WICKET! Philander strikes in his first over of the new spell. The ball stops on Clarke and he chips it straight to cover, Elgar takes the catch, Clarke gone for 19. Nathan Lyon is sent to bat as the night watchman, Australia trail by 342 runs. A short leg in place for Lyon. Lyon pushes it into the leg side for a couple of runs.
A quick single to start the over, Clarke brings Warner on strike. Another brilliant ball from Morkel, Warner edges it and AB drops an easy chance. Smith tries to grab it but is unable to take it. Warner hits the next ball for four through the covers, adding insult to injury. End of the over, Australia 81 for 3.
Warner cuts it away for four, it was hit on the up, but he hits it in the gap. There was no gully in place, easy boundary for Warner. A single to Warner, brings Clarke on strike. Five from the over.
Morkel gives Warner a bit of width and he drives it through the covers for four. Short and sharp from Morkel, Warner edges it into the vacant short leg region. Another short ball from Morkel, Clarke gets on top of it and pulls it through the midwicket region for a handsome boundary. Good ball to end the over.
Warner pulls it on the leg side, Quinton chases it down to deep midwicket and saves a run, they run three. Overpitched from Parnell and Clarke hits it through the covers for four, fantastic shot from the captain. Australia 61 for 3, trail by 362 runs.
Warner takes a single from the first ball, wants the second but Clarke sends him back. Another single, Clarke takes a single and that would have been out it Duminy had hit the stumps, risky single. Good bowling from Morkel, gives a bit of width to Warner who swings and misses. Then he follows it up with a bouncer, brilliant bowling, it was fast and well directed at Warner. Another quick single from Warner, this would have been risky too but Steyn misses.
Parnell continues after drinks, Warner takes a single to bring Clarke on strike. Tight bowling from Parnell, in the corridor of uncertainty to Clarke. Just a single from the over.
Morkel bowls to Clarke. Clarke edges it through slips and gully for four to third man. Clarke pushes it into the leg side for four through deep square leg, brings up the Australian 50.
Australia trail by 382 runs, Smith brings in Parnell from the other end. WICKET! First ball from Parnell and Doolan edges it to the keeper, perfect angle across the batsman, and Doolan gets a slight edge on it. Shaun Marsh comes to the crease, to join Warner. Flood lights are coming on, WICKET! Another brilliant ball from Parnell, bowling on his home ground, a bit of swing and Marsh edges it to the keeper. Brilliant first over from Parnell. Clarke comes out to bat, Parnell bowls it straight and Clarke gets a leg bye to fine leg.
Morkel comes into the attack. Doolan rides the bounce and gets a single on the off side. Just a single from Morkel's first over.
Brilliant timing from Warner, hits the first ball through the off side for four. Shouts of catch it, Warner hits it straight back to the bowler and Philander gets his finger tips on it and it goes for four. Two boundaries from the over, Australia 40 for 1.
A maiden from Philander and Australia stay on 32 for 1, 391 runs behind.
Warner beats short cover and picks up two runs on the off side. Warner wants to hit it through covers, but drags it on the leg side for four, it was in the air for a while but safe. Australia 32 for 1.
Steyn pushes it wide and Warner hits it through the covers for four, good shot to start the over. Another one through the covers, more control from Warner and another boundary to him. This time Warner punches it down the ground, beats mid-off and gets three runs. Good start to the over, shifts some pressure back on the bowler. Doolan edges it and it goes through the gap for four. Doolan pushes the next one through the off side for a couple.
A big shout for lbw, Rogers plays with a straight front leg and Philander thinks he has his man. Umpire Dharmasena gives it out, Rogers reviews the decision, the only doubt was if it pitched in line. Replays shows it does, clean lbw, South Africa get their first wicket. Doolan walks out to bat. This is a lifeless pitch, but the hosts are getting some seam movement with the new ball. A single to Doolan who gets off the mark, and Warner takes a single from the last ball.
Paul Mullarkey reckons: "As to the question 'Do SA really think they will bowl Australia twice!' I cannot speak for their team but I suspect the answer is YES!. Why not, Australia are not so great they have ridden their luck for a while now, always relying on two batsmen to bale them out. Their luck is due to run out."
Warner inside edges Steyn through the leg side for a couple of runs. Good over from Steyn, Australia 7 for no loss.
Philander starts by getting an edge that does not carry. Amla at third slip takes it on the bounce. Rogers gets on his front foot and hits it through the covers for four to end the over. Good shot from him.
Second ball, Steyn swings it in to Rogers, and a big appeal for lbw. Smith reviews and the replays show that the ball may not have been pitching in line. Height was also an issue, the umpire's call of not out stands. A single from the over.
Jonty Orlop from Johannesburg says "I think that Smith should drag the batting out as much as possible. The Aus Openers will be trying to ready themselves for batting the whole time.I think push for as many runs as possible until we all out. Pretty obvious now that we are 1 wicket left though. Even at a slow run ran of 2/4 runs per over the longer we keep them out there the Australians are being drained , whilst we aim at 500 runs.When they bat id plan and try to get them to follow on too as we did with India, isnt that how we beat India?"
Has a South African team ever had 6 left handed batsmen ????
South Africa end on 423 all out after 150.5 overs, a good score on this lifeless pitch. Australia to bowl next.
Clarke continues from the other end. A couple of singles to start the over, WICKET! confusion causes a run out. Morkel wants the single, Steyn does not, Morkel tries to make his way back but is caught short of his ground. Good work by Smith and Haddin to end the South African innings.
Duminy covers the line of the ball and gets two runs to fine leg. Duminy takes a single and then Steyn takes a single. WICKET! Duminy is caught in front of the stumps, lbw, the umpire gives it out. Duminy goes for the review, but this is going to be given out. Pitching in line, hitting in line and hitting the stumps, that is out. Duminy goes for 123. Lyon gets five.
Steyn comes out to bat, Clarke continues after tea. It will be interesting to see how Steyn and Co. bowl on this lifeless pitch. Duminy takes a single, works it away from his pads. Steyn pushes at the ball, into the leg side for a single. Three singles from the over.
South Africa head into the break on a resounding 413 for eight. Fine effort from Duminy, who has continued what de Villiers and Elgar started. Anticipate some attacking shot selection for today's final session. South Africa might want a bowl at the Aussies this evening, still. Your opinions, meanwhile, welcome here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stifled appeal, as the ball slides down the leg side. Duminy wanted to whip that through the leg-side. No go, no lapse in concentration can be afforded. Then a very cheeky paddle, riding the bounce for a couple to fine-leg. That's the limited-overs side of Duminy's gameplay. The Aussies want this to be the last over before the tea break, and are certainly taking their time to make this happen. It ends in success, too, as Parnell thinks he can end the session with a lusty blow. He can't, instead getting a thick edge. Haddin holds on. Partnership broken. Steyn will join Duminy after the interval.
Quick, quiet - not lethal - maiden from Clarke. All and sundry longing for a sweet cup of tea now. Including me.
"Thank you for the entertaining commentary - Nothing biased about it. I think for SA to give themselves a good chance of winning this Test match, we need to make serious inroads today. So accelerating now and putting the Aussies into bat sooner rather than later wouldn't be a bad ploy, I dont think," says Simon Russell.
Swift footwork from Duminy, who doesn't get to the pitch of Lyon's length and quickly adjusts to snuff the bounce. Then a sweep behind square-leg. That shot has served him well throughout his career, and certainly this innings. Slight delay, meanwhile, as Haddin needs some sort of treatment.
Warner back into the attack. And a false shot from Duminy, whose lucky inside edge for four brings up the team 400. A harsher critic will call that a missed chance, but Haddin would have to - literally - have been as quick as lightning to have turned that into a catch. Duminy is on Nelson (111). All South African fans to stand on one leg, please, if superstition is to be believed.
Short cover in place, and almost close enough to snipe a catch from the air. Parnell played that on the up, and again it was largely because the ball from Lyon stopped on him. Meanwhile, Justin Govender chimes in: "Thanks for keeping us in the loop with the cricket whilst we slog away at work. Excellent performance from JP, however, with day two almost close to an end and three days of cricket left, SA need to get the Aussies into bat now - and try and bowl them out. This test cannot end in a draw. SA need to win it. Also, I hope Quinton does well in second innings - great talent for SA cricket."
Clarke doing a bit of a bowling triangle with Warner and Lyon now, as another change of bowling sees the Aussie captain get through a clean, quiet over. The tea break is nearing.
Padding up is Parnell's weapon of choice for now. No toying with Lyon's bid to lure him into a false shot outside the off-stump. Emails have gone quiet since that accusation of bias, but I'm still here, folks: email@example.com.
Warner and his right-arm trundle into the attack. Wicketkeeper Haddin reckons he has snaffled one out. Umpire Dharmasena isn't buying, though, and the Decision Review System soon shows that Parnell didn't get an edge. The batsman stood his ground, and was about to be accused of not walking, but decision justified. Warner hardly appealed anyway. Haddin, though, put his house on that.
CENTURY! Huge sigh of relief for Duminy, who whips out a veritable power sweep for four off Lyon. That takes him to three figures, his first Test century in South Africa - to go with the one scored against New Zealand and Australia. 199 balls to get there, 13 fours included. Selection vindicated. Muted celebration from the man, for he knows the job is not done yet.
Parnell to the fore, as the two left-handers commence a partnership that they'll want to have unbroken when 400 arrives. Lovely drive from Parnell, all the way to the deep cover fence. Clarke quick to correct his length, and close the over on the quiet.
I've been accused of bias, so I would just like to say this is the greatest over ever. A truly sensational return to the attack from spinner Lyon. A remarkable piece of captaincy from Clarke to bring Lyon back. Long live Australia. Never mind Duminy, he is actually pretty average. This century, if he gets there, won't mean much.
WICKET! Clarke's choice to have a quick bowl has done the trick for the Aussies. Philander, too, is caught and bowled. Clarke, like Lyon, had to put in the dive. The ball seems to be stopping on the batsmen, understandable, given the sluggish nature of this pitch. Parnell in now. This is his first Test innings since 2010. His first point of call is to guide Duminy to three figures.
Duminy is in the nervous 90s now. It shows, as he sweeps, misses, and is almost bowled around the legs by Smith. The safety of a single - and the sanctity of the non-striker's end eventually arrives. Philander all but closes out a nervy over, from a South African point of view, on the defence.
Clarke brings himself back into the attack. Perhaps his little left-arm seam can remove the impending centurion. No it can't, nor Philander. Australia at a bit of a loss for now.
Philander shapes for a slog off Smith, and miscues a single to mid-on. Lehmann, meanwhile, is pictured in the dressing room. He is gesticulating like a crazy man, presumably he wants mid-on to move wider - or something. Your guess is as good as mine. This is the thing, Philander is a great bowler - but needs to bat with more authority and purpose. He is an all-rounder after all, but doesn't take himself seriously enough with the willow, perhaps. Is there a point in that? You tell me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is arguably the most uninspired over of Johnson's last seven Tests. He insists on the short stuff, trying to strike Duminy in the armpit - or wherever. It's not working. The left-hander rides the bounce with ease, ultimately getting it away to fine-leg for one. Philander, too, is confident with the fuller approach.
"I am a huge fan of Duminy as a Test Cricketer. I think he must bat at number four, he is one of the best and technically correct batsmen. He should stop playing the T20 format, it messes up his style of batting. Concentrate on test cricket only and play ODI cricket to keep in form. Aaron Phangiso should be in the Test XI, too. De Villiers and de Kock can rotate the wicketkeeping during a Test," suggests Noegh Isaacs.
Opinion continues to flow in on JP Duminy. Love or dislike him, this is a fine rearguard innings. Your thoughts welcome at: email@example.com.
Rank full toss from Smith, as Philander planks it down the ground for one. Ugly cricket all around, not becoming of the hallowed Test match arena. Otherwise, orthodox singles milked left, right and centre. Smith isn't the leg-spinner he used to be, or ever was, really. Drinks break, meanwhile.
Bouncer, but a slower bouncer, as Duminy just pivots and laps Johnson's weird length around the corner for a single. Another day and that might have top-edged. When it's going your way, it's going your way. Philander, too, tries a pull - of sorts. Beaten for pace, though. Johnson won that battle within the war. Can you bowl a bouncer? What sort of cricketer are/were you? I'm a decent left-arm seamer, can't bat for nothing. Not as quick as moustached Mitch, of course. Once took a league fixture hat-trick. Gush. Gush.
Some leg-spin into the attack. Maybe Smith can steal a wicket, in a fashion similar to the dismissal of de Kock. Young Quinton suffered an immature rush of blood to the head, but Duminy and Philander don't - for this over, at least.
"Regarding the milestone, it is not just records that matter. If you look at history many players that had suspicious, rollercoaster records suddenly stunned the sport. Duminy has the ability to play well, from my memory he has - many times - been steadfast when everyone around him was losing their heads. We are lucky to have him," insists Edmund Roux.
"Right now Duminy is doing the job for us, so it's hard to argue that he's not the right man. However, I still believe that the one thing we really lack is a wicket-taking spin bowler - and batsman. All our spin bowlers struggle to put six pressure balls together and our opposition knows this. They just need to be patient and they will get that one, or two, bad balls an over. Can't think of anyone offhand that I would rush in to replace him right now," says William Gearing.
"Duminy is a class act, but he needs a big, aggressive century to truly take the game away from Australia and make the number five or six spot his own," writes Stephan Herman.
He's baaaaaaack. Johnson returns to the attack. Quiet start to the so-called express pace ace's latest spell. Opportunity knocks for three figures for Duminy - and he won't want to give it away. Concentration personified out there.
Again, more fodder from Lyon. Duminy onto it in a flash again - through midwicket for four. Lyon is approaching 40 overs. Plenty. South Africa posing a big challenge for a bowler who became accustomed to England's inadequacies.
Duminy passes 1,000 Test runs. Tidy milestone, but he should have been closer to double that by now, were it not for injury and a drop in form. Are you a fan of the man, or would you prefer to see someone else take Duminy's place? Opinion welcome at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lyon in the wickets, yes, but coughing up a 'four ball' every over. Here's another for Duminy to take care of - through cover and mid-off. Superb timing, but a truly short delivery. Philander, meanwhile, getting acquainted with the conditions from the other end.
Duminy milks a leg-bye and allows Philander to find his feet for the duration of the over. No need for Haddin to stand up to the stumps for the new batsman. Siddle almost sneaks one through the gate, and at least stifles an lbw appeal.
All the time in the world for Duminy. He latches onto the shoddy, short length, and there goes the ball through the covers - for four. No need to run for that. Utmost authority. WICKET! Then, just as it looks like Lyon will never get another breakthrough, he does. De Villiers looks to meet the ball at its pitch, but doesn't, and can't ride the rest. Instead it bobbles to the right of the bowler. The spinner puts in the dive, and hangs on with both hands. Sharp chance taken, and one worthy of ending a fine century. That's the end of a fine 149-run stand. Philander in now, not Parnell.
Haddin stands up to the stumps for Siddle again. Duminy and de Villiers, thus, stay in the crease. No waltzing down the track in an attempt to force the pace. Defensive cricket from Australia, indeed.
Duminy sweeping pretty often now. It's his go-to shot, as the confidence grows. He now has his highest Test score since March 2012. Admittedly, an Achilles heel injury did sideline him for six months. De Villiers is left to the strike, and cashes in on some width - all the way to the cover fence for four. South Africa certainly on the frontfoot, literally and metaphorically, now.
Clarke deploying some peculiar placements again, this time in the form of a couple of mid-offs. No slips whatsoever. No harm done, with two singles apiece before de Villiers closes the over out on the defence. Haddin, meanwhile, dons a helmet and is standing up to the stumps to Siddle. Brave.
Superb presence of mind from Duminy, who doesn't endure won of those unlucky run-outs. De Villiers' drive and Lyon's ricochet strike the opposite stumps, but the non-striker's bat remains rooted to the crease. Mindful cricket all around. Lyon might want to think about changing his line here, but remains around the wicket regardless.
No thirdman in place, so gully fielder Warner has to chase hard in preventing de Villiers' thickish edge from fetching four. Siddle will want to tighten line that a bit. He soon does, too much, allowing a single driven to mid-on. Same to Duminy, whose single down the ground is straighter. Not as straight as Garth Hey's bowling elbow, though.
Here's Lyon again, as the Aussies continue to spend their longest period in the field since the start of the Ashes. Too short from the spinner, with de Villiers glancing a single for ease. Lyon, though, is appreciating the additional bounce outside the left-handed Duminy's off-stump.
All and sundry head out to the middle, ready for the resumption of play. South Africa chasing 400 and beyond, while the Aussies need a breakthrough - soon. I, Jonhenry Wilson, will be with you for the ride - and need your comments to fuel the lifeblood of this interaction. Hit me up on the contact details in the previous entry. Go.
So, will Smith be happy with this score after opting to bat first? What total will be enough? And is this knock from Duminy enough to keep his place in the side? Is Johnson, under pressure for the first time in a while, going to be able to respond accordingly? Plenty of questions during the lunch break, and your opinion welcome at cricket365.co.za on email or @JonhenryWilson on Twitter.
Well, the Aussies will not have enjoyed that session. They took no wickets and gave up 109 runs, and watched as both De Villiers and Duminy reached milestones. Also, Johnson was kind of hit out of the attack early on, and looked slightly wayward. Join us in 40 minutes for more PE action and brass band music.
Michael Clarke takes the ball for the final over before lunch, to Duminy, who blocks the left-arm off-breaks and it's a maiden.
Lyon continues, and JP pops one off his pads to mid on for a single off the first ball, as the players eagerly anticipate the lunch break. Lyon takes his time bowling the over, but there will be one more.
Johnson continues to AB, who gets a single into the covers, and then JP adds another off his pads off the last ball to keep strike.
The Aussie bowlers are going to break down soon, they have't had to bowl so many overs in a while. Lyon continues to De Villiers, who gets a single, and then Duminy blocks out the over.
Johnson's back and goes at Duminy, who sees off the first ball and then drives the second for four. That's all from the over, but it's enough. Just the one bad ball punished is all that's required for now.
Duminy gets off strike with a single, and the AB records his 19th Test century with a sweep for four off Lyon, and he is delighted. The band breaks out the national anthem in celebration. AB stands at the non strikers end and sings along, adorable!
That's 50 up for Duminy, though he's lucky as it should have been four leg byes off the thigh pad. But he's done so well, especially after calls for him to be dropped before the game. He then adds a single, and AB adds a single, and then JP adds another single. Seven off that Harris over.
Lyon continues with half an hour till lunch. Just the one run off it, a single to mid on by Duminy off the last ball.
Harris continues to Duminy, and he scampers a cheeky leg bye single as Haddin fields, to bring up the 300. The band is loud! Give me hope Joanna!
Lyon continues to Duminy, and after two dots balls the spinner drops it shots and wide, and JP smacks it off the back foot through the covers for four. He then gets an edge but it falls short of the man close in, and they get a single instead. AB then drives off the back foot too and it's seven off the over.
AB nips one off his pads for two against Harris. Meanwhile, the brass band has arrived and are setting up in the stands. De Villiers then bags two more to move into the 90s.
Six off this Lyon over, with two doubles and two singles as the batsmen nurdle the ball into gaps. The have to do that, it's too slow to time the ball anywhere at speed. Luckly for SA, these are two very quick runners and can scamper singles.
AB faces Harris, back for a new spell, and it's short and wide, so AB cuts it off the front foot for four. There's a big appeal for LBW, but there was an inside edge and Clarke doesn't review, after discussing it with Haddin.
Lyon is on the money again, and he's tough to score off. The slow surface plus a slow bowler means superhuman effort to get the ball away. Duminy is happy to defend the good deliveries, and it's a maiden.
AB creeps closer to a ton with a drive off the back foot to Siddle, and the Proteas keep milking the one bad ball per over. They going at nearly four in the last 10 overs.
Duminy then gets in on the boundary action with a sweep off Lyon, and that's all she wrote for the over. JP moves closer to a much-needed half ton after much criticism ahead of the Test. Hope I haven't jinxed him.
The action continues after a drinks break, with Siddle going at JP. The fourth ball strays onto the pads and Duminy works it off for a single, and then AB launches the final ball for a huge six over long on.
AB and Haddin have a friendly chat between deliveries (seriously, they're smiling), before AB sweeps Lyon for four in front of square. He then steps to the leg side and drives away from his body through the covers for another boundary.
Siddle continues and puts one onto AB's pads, and the right hander whips the ball away through mid wicket for three. Duminy sees out the over without scoring. Are we missing the band yet? No? Ok.
Nathan Lyon is brought into the attack to see if he can wangle a wicket with his non-spin. Just one run off it, and the batsmen must avoid getting overly excited, like they did against him yesterday, to their detriment.
The fifty partnership comes up with a square drive for four by Duminy off Siddle, and it also brings up the 250 for SA.
Just the one run off this Johnson over, when Duminy clips it off his toes to the leg side. AB sees out the over and Johnson's moustache looks rather droopy this morning.
De Villiers gets two off Siddle as he turns the ball off a length onto the leg side, but aside from that it's disciplined from Sids, as the commentators focus on Quinton de Kock's rubbish dismissal from day one. It's pretty slow out there.
Johnson is back, from the other end, and sends one wide down the leg side first up, forcing Haddin to dive to grab it. Duminy then angles the ball down to third man for three, with David Warner chasing it down to prevent the fourth. AB then gets off strike with a single to mid on and it's four from the over.
The field is very straight for Siddle, showing that the track is not as quick as he'd like, but AB still plays watchfully and it's a maiden.
It's a maiden from Harris. JP cuts it fine with the final ball, shouldering arms but the ball passed very close to the off stump. Either a good leave or very foolish, depending on your allegiances.
Peter Siddle comes into the attack as discussion continues about the ball, which the Aussies don't seem to be enjoying. Then, smack! AB drives through the ball for the first time today, recording a four to the long off ropes. Then, dropped catch? No. AB bats a slower one back to Siddle but it bounces just before it gets to him.
There is little to no swing in the air, and AB gets off strike with a single off Harris' third ball. Duminy sees out the over, having calmed down from his earlier run flurry.
It's a maiden as Johnson seems to have woken up a bit, and is far more on the money this time. Duminy plays each ball on its merits and takes no risks.
Harris to AB, who gets off strike with a single off the edge of his bat, and Duminy returns the favour next ball with another single. Harris is looking far more composed compared to MJ, but he's grimacing after every ball. Frustrated?
Johnson strays onto Duminy's pads and the leftie whips it away for four, and then does the same thing next ball, this time to fine leg. He then pitches it short, but the track is not quick enough and JP pulls it for another boundary.
Duminy pushes Harris square for two, with Rogers chasing it down to the ropes, and then he is all defence for the next few balls. Harris digs one in short but it kind of floats over JP's back as he ducks. There is no venom in this track, and JP turns one off his hips for a single next ball.
Johnson takes the new cherry from the other end, as expected, and is slightly wayward first up as AB watches on. Some cracking fielding at mid on saves a four as AB middles a drive, and MJ follows it up with one down the leg side. Bowling to the left and the right... It's a maiden nonetheless.
Ryan Harris has the new ball and gets going to Duminy. The left-hander does;t seem overly bothered, and is content to push the ball to the close fielders as he gets his eye in. Fifth ball beats the bat though. If there was another layer of varnish on the bat... But JP follows that up with a cracking cover drive for four.
The players are on the park, with AB and JP, AKA Alphabet Soup, warming up and jumping about. It's a bit chilly out there.
Hi there, and welcome to day two of the second Test in PE, where the clouds are still covering the ground and everyone's still pondering the ponderous pitch. The Proteas will start the day (19 minutes early) on 214 for five, with AB well set on 51.
It is stumps on day one, bad light stopped play after the 83rd over. SA end the day on 214 for 5 with AB on 51 and Duminy on 2 at the crease. Australia have toiled hard on a difficult pitch after SA won the toss and elected to bat.
Clarke is having a chat with the umpire, he wants to take the second new ball but it is dark outside. Bad light has stopped play, SA 214 for 5.
A long hop from Smith and then AB hits it in the air through deep square leg for four, brings up his 50 in style. AB gets a single on the leg side. Six from the over.
Lyon continues and AB takes a single from the over, Duminy plays out the rest of the over. AB moves on to 46.
The new ball is due but has not been taken. Three singles from the over.
De Villiers takes a single to move on to 44. Duminy gets off the mark with a single and then AB hits it through the covers for a single.
Smith starts his second over, AB takes a single after playing a few dots, Duminy on strike for the last ball. Just the single from the over.
Lyon continues, the second new ball is not far away. AB takes a single from the first ball. Duminy plays out the rest of the over.
Steve Smith comes into the attack, his first over of the day. A long hop from Smith and AB pulls it through midwicket for four. Another short ball and this time de Kock pulls it through the midwicket region for a couple, bringing up the 200 for SA. WICKET! de Kock comes down the pitch and tries to hit it over long off, just top edges it to Henriques who is the substitute fielder. Duminy comes out to bat. A single to end the over.
Lyon continues, de Kock cuts him through the off side, but straight to the fielder. Good bowling from Lyon, a maiden in the end.
A couple of dots and then a slight loose ball, just drifting down leg and AB whips it through midwicket for four, fierce shot from AB. AB reaches 7000 runs in tests with that shot. SA 193 for 4 after 75 overs.
Lyon continues, lots of chatter around the bat when he is on strike. The Aussies looking to put pressure on him. A single from de Kock, brings AB on strike. AB pushes it from his pads on to the leg side for a single. Two from the over.
The last hour of play begins, Siddle continues. A maiden from Siddle after drinks.
De Kock gets off the mark with a square drive through the off side. Five runs from the over.
A couple of dots and then AB takes a single to bring de Kock on strike.
Lyon gets the WICKET! Elgar goes after the ball and hits it in the air, Harris takes a good catch. De Kock walks out to bat on debut. Duminy will come in at number 7, Elgar goes for 83, he deserved a 100 today. Slip, short leg and silly point in for Lyon against de Kock.
Siddle continues, Elgar cuts it behind point for four. Elgar cuts it to deep point for a single. Five from the over.
The Proteas gets singles off the first two balls of Lyon's over, and then Elgar gets a single off the fourth, but it's all very calm out there as the Proteas seem content to wait for the bad ball and see out the day.
Siddle bowls it outside off, AB tries to force the pace and hits it to point, it falls just short of the fielder. A maiden in the end from Siddle.
Lyon comes back into the attack, he got the wicket of Faf against the run of play. AB drives it to long on for a single to bring up the 50 run partnership. A single from the over, Lyon finishes his first of this spell.
Elgar cuts it through the off side for four, rocked on to his back foot and cuts it into the gap. SA 172 for 3 after 65 overs.
Harris bowls a few dots and then Elgar flicks him to fine leg for a single. A single from the over, SA 168 for 3.
AB opens the blade and hits it through the off side for four, placed it into the gap between point and cover. AB drives the next ball straight down the ground for four, Siddle bowls a slower ball and AB is quick to drive it for four. Two boundaries from the over, SA 167 for 3.
Harris changes ends and replaces Johnson. A maiden from Harris who is covering the ball with his hand as he runs in to bowl, expecting it to reverse.
Siddle comes into the attack, AB hits it straight down the ground, chance of a run out but Elgar does not go for the single and they are safe in the end.
Elgar opens the face of the bat and runs it down to third man, behind square on the off side for a couple of runs. A few dots and then Elgar reaches for it outside the off stump and hits it through the covers for three runs.
Four dots and then AB edges it through the slips for four.
Johnson starts after tea, two slips, a gully and a leg gully in place. Elgar hits it straight down the ground for four, very well executed. Elgar takes a stride forward while batting and that can put him in a good position to play straight. Just the boundary from the over.
It is tea on day one and South Africa are slowly grinding Australia down. A good partnership between Faf and Elgar and then AB settling at the crease before tea. Elgar is playing what could be a career changing innings. The track is slow and low which does not help the Aussies.
This will be the last over before the tea interval. Elgar works the ball off his hips on the leg side for a single. AB takes a couple of runs past point. AB plays out the last ball and South Africa go to tea at 145 for 3.
Five minutes to go before tea, AB jumps and works the ball off his hips for a couple of runs on the leg side. Elgar pads it away for a single to short fine leg. A couple of singles from the over.
Harris bowls it wide and Elgar punches it on the off side for a couple of runs, just two from the over. South Africa 140 for 3.
Four dots from Johnson, then he bowls the short and fast ball, AB hooks it for four to fine leg. AB was not in control of the shot but manages to hit the top edge fine. Good over from Johnson.
Four dots and then Elgar punches it between point and cover for a couple of runs.
Mitchell Johnson comes into the attack for a short burst, AB to face him. Just a wide from the over, good bowling from Johnson.
Harris is back and he's not quite up to pace, it seems. AB gets off strike with a single into the covers. Elgar sees the over out without a fuss.
AB gets two off Lyon first ball, nudging it past cover, and then gets another off the fifth ball to yet again keep the strike.
The first five balls from Siddle to De Villiers are par for the course, and then a single off the last ball to keep the strike.
Elgar nips a single off Lyon to get AB on strike, but Clarke has good field placements close to the batsman and he can't get past them until the end of the over, with a push into the covers.
Elgar finally breaks the mini-drought with a single off his pads to Siddle, and AB sees out the over a bit more calmly. Still not off the mark though.
AB uses his feet against Lyon and it looks like a dropped catch, but it's a bump ball. AB is playing risky shots though, and another one falls just short of mid-on. He's really annoyed with not getting off the mark yet. Maiden.
Siddle continues and the Proteas see out a maiden, looking to consolidate after losing the wicket. Elgar is all defense.
WICKET! Lyon breaks the partnership after the drinks break. Faf gets the inside edge onto his pads and it flies to Alex Doolan at short leg. In comes AB de Villiers and he sees out the over. Wicket maiden.
Siddle continues to Elgar, who gets off strike with a single past mid on. Faf then faces the next four balls and gets a single, giving Elgar the strike for the last ball. He edges it though the slips and gets a risky four to bring up his half ton. The change room is on its feet, well played son.
Elgar giving the finger to the selectors after he lost his central contract this week. Meanwhile, Lyon is back and each batsman gets a single off him.
Blimey, Elgar drives in the air and it's goes narrowly past a diving Steve Smith, and races for four. That's the century stand, and Elgar then hits another boundary off Siddle to end the over. He's nearing his second 50-plus score in Tests (his other is a ton).
Elgar drops the gloves to another MJ short ball and wears it on the shoulder, willing to bag a few bruises in the name of his wicket. Next ball sees a single, keeping the fielders on their toes in terms of the left-right batting combo. FIFTY! Faf angles the ball square to the ropes for four to bring up 49, and then another off his pads for his half ton. And SA have 100 too.
Siddle is back, Faf faces and defends the first ball with his body behind the bat. Fourth ball sees an appeal from Siddle alone, but not much interest. Inside edge, upon seeing the replay, so good call from Mr Dharmasena. Maiden over.
Du Plessis clips it off his pads for a single to square leg, and then Johnson starts with the short balls. Elgar fends it off his ribs to gully, and the next ball is much the same, but this time he gets a single to fine leg. Another single ends the over as the crowd sings the national anthem, accompanied by the brass band.
Just the one run off the Lyon over as he keeps it much tighter. Faf gets a single to long on and moves closer to a half century.
Catch 22 for the hosts, as the good batting sees Johnson return to stem the flow. Solid forward defensive from Faf first ball, and his elbow stays high and head over the ball for the rest of the over. He gets a single off the last ball, thus retaining the strike.
A single to Faf and then BOSH! Six more for Elgar, who hits Lyon straight down the ground. Zero spin about, seriously. Seven from it and the Proteas are into the 90s.
Four more to Faf as he tickles it off his pads to the fine leg ropes, and Harris is unimpressed with himself. The hosts are going along at a decent clip now, just getting the one loose ball per over away. A single then gives Elgar the strike till the end of the over.
Faf gets off strike with a single off Lyon second ball, pushed in front of square, and Elgar is then content to play each ball on its merits and take no risks. Just the one off it.
Harris is a bit too full and Elgar drives it for four off the first ball of the over, and this makes Harris go round the wicket. Elgar sees the over out so it's just four from it. The band is picking up tempo now.
Bosh! Six runs to Faf, who double steps down the ground to Lyon and smacks it over mid-wicket. Lyon retaliates with a quicker one but Faf is vigilant and blocks it. Another two makes it eight off the over, all to Du Plessis.
Elgar breaks the deadlock with a lovely cover drive off Harris for four. It was slightly wide, but without much sideways movement, it was a safe shot. Harris mixes it up in terms of length and line, trying to catch Elgar out, but the batsman remains composed.
Lyon takes the ball fro the other end, and it's another run-free over, this time with Faf warily keeping an eye on the ball. Not much turn though, but he's careful nonetheless.
The first over after lunch is a maiden as the batsmen take things slowly against Harris, just feeling their way back after a post-feed lull.
By the way, we'd love to hear your thoughts on the morning's play. Is it honours-even? Or do Australia still hold the advantage after those early wickets, despite the 53-run stand between Elgar and du Plessis. How excited are you to see de Kock at the crease later on?
If there's one word I'd use to describe the action in this session, it would be: Oldschool. We've had another good look at Mitchell Johnson's 70s vintage facial hair, as well as the timeless qualities of his frighteningly quick bowling. He was also accurate today, as were Harris and Siddle, and the Australians read a slow, low pitch well and kept the ball up to the bat. Elgar and du Plessis have really been made to grind out the session to survive. Off the top of my head, I can't think of two South Africans better suited to that task, and it's been good, old-fashioned Test cricket.
The Warner experiment is, fortunately, a short one and Clarke turns back to his offspinner Nathan Lyon to bowl the final over before lunch. Lyon offers spindly limbs which waggle about as if on the strings of an unseen puppeteer, generous flight and a charmingly balding pate but, alas, no great turn off the track and no breakthrough for the Australians. That'll be lunch, with Elgar and du Plessis holding firm.
Lovely shape from Harris in this over, and I don't mean his forearms. He curves the ball repeatedly away from du Plessis, who does a good job of picking what to play and what to leave. Harris' length is a little inconsistent, as he probs away with the odd yorker, but there's no release ball.
Good grief, this is some left-field captaincy from Clarke. He's brought David Warner on to bowl some dibbly-dobbly filth, and filthy it is. Haddin is tested down the leg side by his very first delivery, but is beaten by one which wobbles in that direction a couple of deliveries later. Well, it was possibly worth the punt, but Warner doesn't look like prizing either of these two out. Perhaps the drop in intensity will cause a lapse in concentration? Unlikely. Even I could see this off.
Harris shadows Siddle with another over of pinpoint accuracy. But the ball's not doing much anymore, and du Plessis flexes repeatedly into his half-forward defense. Yes, he flexes even in defense.
Metronomic stuff from Siddle. He zones in repeatedly on the top of Elgar's off stump, and the nuggety left-hander responds with equal obduracy. Whose patience will break first? As an aside, it's interesting to note just how many of Elgar's defensive strokes end up one handed. The eccentricity doesn't seem to harm his defensive game, at least not on this slow, low pitch.
I wonder how Ryan Harris' knee is holding up? He stretched his right limb gingerly a couple of times before starting this over, but trundled in gamely all the same just as the band in the stands struck up a tune. Harris keeps the ball generally very nicely full, aiming for du Plessis' boot a couple of times, and there's some slightly thoughtless backing up from Elgar that might've had him run out by the man at mid-on ... had the shy not gone wide.
Elgar is scrapping hard - or being made to scrap by Johnson's menacing pace and Siddle's relentless accuracy. Elgar pokes forward to a Siddle delivery on off stump that seams away a touch, and the resultant outside edge drops short of the slips (again) and bounces down to third man for four. Edgy stuff. Du Plessis, meanwhile, continues to attempt to get the bowlers to bowl to him by leaving outside off and looking to work the straight ball through the leg side.
Johnson, who's been straining for top pace, needs his spikes changed at the start of the over. By the end of it, it may be Elgar who needs some new equipment. After zinging the ball down on a length for much of the over, Johnson bangs in a bouncer from around the wicket that ricochets violently off a huddling Elgar's armguard and flies straight to Warner at leg gully. The Aussies think they've got their man, but the Umpire calls "not out" and that's the right call.
Siddle's technique is at odds with Johnson's: he's holding an end together while Johnson attacks from the other. Du Plessis nurdles a single to leg to begin the over, after which Elgar shows good concentration and defense on and around off stump.
Another bristling, brutally quick over from Johnson, but Elgar is playing with aplomb. The left-hander wears a bouncer on the shoulder, dropping his hands on the ball, and digs out an attempted yorker to deny the probing Johnson.
Limited-overs cricket here, sort of, as Elgar and du Plessis steal a cheaky single each. Wide of gully and to the left of cover are the areas of robbery, as the scoreboard ticks over. Has to be done, though, when bad balls are not on offer - especially from the metronomic Siddle.
Johnson returns to the attack for another four- or five-over burst. No good to the left-handed Elgar, though, who capitalises on a line and length that would be near perfect to a right-hander. Du Plessis is soon left to the strike, and is promptly kept on his toes - as the pace ace pegs his length back to something a bit more intimidating.
Play resumes, Siddle continues. Gun-barrel straight from the right-armer, barring nothing. He won't relent, he won't vary. Du Plessis cautious, circumspect. Fielder lie in wait, but nothing arrives - on the full, at least. Attritional stuff. The brass band are up and at it now, with 'Give Me Hope, Johanna.' You know the one, sing along, in your head - or out loud in the office and surrounds. And a one, a two, a one, two, three.
Or is it? Have South Africa done the right thing by debuting Quinton de Kock here. If so, why. If not, why? Let us know at email@example.com
Suncreened and stubbled, Lyon continues under overcast skies. He has wicketkepeer Haddin, first slip Clarke and short-leg Doolan for company. Elgar soon winds up for another big shot, but settles on jamming out a veritable yorker. In fact, it is squeezed to mid-on for one. St George Park's famous brass band, meanwhile, is filtering in. Jazzy jives to follow soon enough. Drinks break. Opinion welcome at: firstname.lastname@example.org - or get me at @JonhenryWilson on Twitter.
Closing in an hour of play now, and hence the drinks break. Siddle does what he does best, churning out that metronomic line and length. No frills, no fuss, just good value Test match seam. But then he errs, to the leg-side, and du Plessis almost has no choice but to spoon that through midwicket for four. Fielders chase hard, but ball wins the race. Quick change in length from Siddle, later, with a leading edge - thanks to some late swing - getting the better of the right-hander. No fielder at hand, so no harm done for South Africa.
Huge lunge forward from Elgar. Not big enough, though, as he can't meet the turn at its and almost chops one onto his stumps. Completely out the middle the next time, though, as a massive slog-sweep sees a fat six scream over long-on. He then misjudges the line, leaving the ball, which almost topples the off-stump. Very up and down, hit or miss from the left-hander here.
A peach, and absolute pearler from Siddle, with du Plessis beaten all ends up outside the off-stump. I, a steady left-arm seamer, couldn't have done it better myself. That's the highlight of the over, amid another maiden.
Spin into the attack, as early as the 10th over. Clarke has quickly assessed this pitch, which seems a bit two-paced. Elgar pretty comfortable with it all, deadbatting anything and everything put out before him. One slip and a short-leg fielder left to twiddle their thumbs. A maiden.
Change of bowling. One right-arm seamer replaces another. Siddle into the attack. I trust vegetarian Pete is at least four bananas into his two dozen for the day. That'll serve him well for a couple of long spells. Then, 43 minutes into play, Elgar gets off the mark with a single glanced. That's his first run against Australia, after a pair of ducks on debuts in Perth last year. The schoolkids are starting up, but no brass band yet. Du Plessis, meanwhile, punishes a shoddy line - all the way to the midwicket fence for four. Short midwicket had no chance to stop that superb timing.
Du Plessis whips out the pull shot, he doesn't want this length dictating proceedings. Doesn't middle it, though, as the pitch holds up the pace. Doolan, at square-leg, puts in more of a fall than a dive - as the ball falls short of him. Something fuller does travel, however, as du Plessis miscues for some welcome runs through the covers. Johnson won't want to deliver too many of those half-volleys.
Two silly mid-ons/short midwickets in place for Harris while Elgar is on strike. Very peculiar field placements, indeed. Three slips and a gully remain. So plenty of gaps in the deep, but Elgar can't work the ball off the square. Du Plessis watches from the other end, determined to make this number four berth his own after Kallis' retirement. Speaking of the great man, perhaps you'd like to lament his absence. Opinion, emailed or tweeted, welcome at: email@example.com - or @JonhenryWilson.
WICKET! And another. Another lbw. Not as straightfoward as the one that got rid of Smith, but Amla has to go. Beaten for pace, on the backfoot, and ponders asking for a review. A quick chat with Elgar, though, and Amla won't ask for the DRS to intervene. It pitched, straightened - and would have struck the leg stump. If memory serves me correctly, that's Johnson's 50th wickets since the start of the Ashes. A sin to watch, a sight to behold, long live the ludicrously loveable left-armer. Du Plessis, by the way, arrives at the crease now. 32 minutes at the crease and Elgar not off the mark yet.
WICKET! Plumb as the come. Smith fell all over that shot, trying to flick a straight line through the leg-side. That was full from Harris, nipped away from the left-hander a bit, and struck the back pad. Appeal hardly required, umpire's finger raised. No contemplation from the batsman - the Decision Review System would have been wasted there. Easiest decision you'll see. Shame for South Africa. Amla in now, the crowd appreciative of their bearded hero. Upper-lip hair versus chin stuff - aka: Johnson to Amla - to follow soon.
Smith finds the middle for once (no vendetta here, I promise, I'm his greatest fan) - as the ball races off the hips and through the off-side for three. Elgar left to the strike, and still not off the mark. The runs will come, if patience remains. The man has batted down the order across the opening stages of his burgeoning career. This opening batting thing is an entirely different ball game, almost, including a slew of lippy verbal from mouthy Johnson at the end of the over. Elgar doesn't bit, doesn't return the favour.
Short-leg has already been removed. Clarke quick to decide. Plenty of protection in the cover region remains. It's third slip that's in action early, though, as another Smith edge screams wide of the diving fielder. Four lucky runs. Not convincing from the host skipper - but runs are runs regardless. South Africa off the mark. Then a play'n'miss. Harris 1 - Smith 0. I will stop this football-esque count soon enough, when the caffeine wears off.
Elgar is the picture of concentration, doesn't want to let Johnson get the better of him here, as was the case in Australia last year. The left-armer is a bit wayward at the moment, coughing up bouncers down the left-hander's leg-side. Then his radar is corrected, with defence outside the off-stump steely and resolute. Blustery and overcast out there, but no additional swing or seam yet. Elgar 1 - Johnson 0, dare I suggest.
Hold your horses. Harris first, not Johnson. Three slips, a gully, and a short-leg in place. Pressure for the batsman, Smith, indeed. Perfect, probing line from the right-hander. Smith defends a couple, leaves one - and then almost edges another to the slip cordon. He will profess 'soft hands', but there is no fooling us. Right? Hit us up on Twitter: @JonhenryWilson.
Umpires Kumar Dharmasena and Richard Illingworth head out to the middle. The opening batsmen are Smith and Elgar, de Kock will bat at seven and won't keep wicket. Here come the Australian XI, too, with Johnson raring to go with the new ball.
Very overcast in Port Elizabeth, with the floodlights on at St George's Park already. The toss-winning captain would have been backed to bowl first, but Smith has opted for a bat across conditions that have seen the gap between spin and seam close lately. More than a tinge of green across the pitch, so strap in for the ride, folks, it's bound to be a snorter.
And so, thoughts? This certainly isn't the usual South African XI - but is it going to suffice? Your opinion welcome at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Vernon Philander, Graeme Smith, Dale Steyn.
Michael Clarke, Alex Doolan, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Chris Rogers, Peter Siddle, Steven Smith, David Warner.
Alviro Petersen is out ill and Robin Peterson has been dropped, so Quinton de Kock will debut and Wayne Parnell has been recalled. Ryan McLaren has been sidelined by injury, of course, and Dean Elgar is back. The Aussies, understandably, are unchanged.
Graeme Smith triumphs in the flip of the coin and South Africa will bat first.
The bulk of the pre-match build-up has revolved around South Africa's XI. It won't include the injured Ryan McLaren, and probably not Alviro Petersen or Robin Peterson. But who to file in, and in what capacity? Your opinion welcome here: email@example.com.
South Africa were steamrolled in Centurion, where the Aussies clinched a remarkable 281-run win - and one-nil series lead - inside four days, thanks largely to Mitchell Johnson's 12-wicket haul.
Hello and welcome to our over-by-over commentary on day one of the second Test - in the three-match series - between South Africa and Australia at St George's Park in Port Elizabeth.