Aussies untroubled by Proteas bowlers

2014-03-04 13:03

Australia: 494/7 declared and 180/1 (Warner 92*, Rogers 39, Doolan 36*)

South Africa: 287 (Du Plessis 67, Petersen 53, Amla 38, Philander 37*, Johnson 4/42, Harris 3/63, Pattinson 2/77)

Australia leads by 387 runs

David Warner seemed set on spoiling Graeme Smith’s farewell party with a characteristic second innings knock, extinguishing South Africa’s hopes for a win.

Warner has become the latter-day Michael Slater with his knack of producing second innings runs that take the game away from the opposition.

He did so in the first test and has done the same on the fourth morning as the visitors piled on the runs against a demoralised South African bowling attack.

Time had to be created for Australia’s bowling to try and win the game for Australia and he has done just that.

Besides the first innings failure at SuperSport Park, Warner has not failed to cross the 50-run mark in each innings. He is the leading run scorer in the series and he will likely take the man of the series award.

Usually openers try to blunt the new ball, but the Australian openers in Warner and Chris Rogers were attack-minded.

They have a series to win and the intent with which they played showed how seriously they took their business. In 13 overs, they had rattled off 68 runs against an attack that looked to have no answers.

Not even the limp Dale Steyn could plug the runs, and his three overs cost an expensive 24 runs. As the openers completed their 123-run partnership, which was ended by Rogers being run-out by Steyn from the fine-leg boundary, there was time for Warner to ransack a 41-ball 50.

He became calm towards lunch with a second century in the match beckoning, but the hard work had been done in the first hour when the boundaries flowed.

The Warner/Alex Doolan partnership of 57, still unbeaten, is driving more nails into the Proteas’ coffin.

Their job of demoralising the bowlers has been done, although the home side were able to peg back the run rate substantially by lunch.

The next session will see Australia trying to press home their advantage before having a crack at South Africa. It will be a case of how many sessions South Africa can bat out to save the game.

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