Port Elizabeth: Kagiso Rabada struck shortly before the close to restore South Africa’s ascendancy on the third day of the second Test against Australia at St George’s Park on Sunday.
Australia were 180 for five in their second innings at the close, a slender lead of 41 runs with five wickets remaining.
A magnificent century by AB de Villiers enabled South Africa to take a first innings lead of 139 and Australia lost four wickets before they wiped out the deficit.
But Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Marsh shared a fighting fifth wicket partnership of 87 and almost succeeded in taking their team through to the fourth day with at least a glimmer of hope.
Then Rabada struck for the third time in the innings. Bowling around the wicket he trapped Khawaja in front of his stumps with a full delivery after the left-hander made 75 off 136 balls.
Khawaja and Marsh (39 not out) came together when Australia were 86 for four but batted for more than two hours on a pitch which was largely placid. In contrast to the first innings, there was no pronounced reverse swing for the bowlers.
De Villiers made a magnificent 126 not out and had good support from the tail as South Africa scored freely before they were all out for 382 shortly before the scheduled lunch break.
South Africa then started well with the ball.