We’re just gone past three days of the Boxing Day Test with Australia now have nine wickets left to win, while the Proteas need a huge miracle to turn things around (currently trailing by 371 runs to level the scores & even build a huge near impossible run target) – with Sarel Erwee on 7* & Theunis De Bruyn on 6* going into Day 4 tomorrow at 13-1.
First of all, it’s great to see Travis Head secure his 50, but then Anrich Nortje got away with back-to-back wickets shortly afterwards – including denying Dave Warner the chance to surpass Joe Root’s record (218* v India – Feb 21’) for the highest 100th Test score with the bat by just 19 runs for 200. He’s been the best opposition player so far – who has tremendous execution with the line and length that traps both Head & Warner through the gate.
However, Nortje’s heroics became short-lived thanks to keeper Alex Carey with the bat. He was outstanding on top of his usual keeping & catching skills, having converted his 50 into a maiden Test hundred on 111 at the MCG; He can also make up quickfire runs as long as Carey kept it simple downtown alongside the meat of the full bat face presentation.
Meanwhile, good to hear that Cameron Green is okay after he was hit on a finger by a speedy Nortje delivery (145 clicks) yesterday. Although he may not be playing a part with the ball again for this Test – which is a pity after his maiden 5fer display two days ago as he will need a few week’s recovery like Mitchell Starc with a similar injury after this – but he too played a really good half-knock not long before Australia declared for 575-8.
And we round off the day with an early mark due to wet weather where Dean Elgar was caught behind by Carey’s gloves (off Pat Cummins) for a three-ball duck. Now the Aussies are only one step away from regaining the series v Proteas on home soil, as they can still get the job done – both without the need to bat again, as well as the injured Cam Green.