Dean Elgar century and Morne Morkel's 300th wicket give South Africa the edge over Australia

Sport360 staff 23/03/2018
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Dean Elgar carried his bat for the third time in his career.

Fast bowler Morne Morkel took his 300th Test wicket as South Africa bowled themselves into a strong position on the second day of the third Test against Australia at Newlands on Friday.

Australia were 245 for nine when bad light ended play, 66 runs behind South Africa’s first innings total of 311.

But it could have been worse for Australia. They were in deep trouble at 175 for eight before Nathan Lyon hit a Test-best 47 in a ninth wicket partnership of 66 with Tim Paine, who was unbeaten on 33.

Morkel, who will retire from international cricket after the series, took three of the first four Australian wickets to fall and became the fifth South African to join the 300 club.

Morkel dismissed Usman Khawaja and Steve Smith in his first spell, then came back to break a 78-run fourth wicket stand between Cameron Bancroft and Shaun Marsh when Marsh flashed at a wide ball and was caught behind.

Bancroft made 77 off 103 balls with 14 fours but was leg before wicket to Vernon Philander in the last over before tea to leave Australia in a precarious position.

Morkel, 33, playing in his 85th Test, took a fourth wicket when Lyon’s adventurous 38-ball innings was ended by a catch by Dean Elgar running back from point.

Earlier, Kagiso Rabada was hit for five boundaries in a row by David Warner but won a duel with the Australian opening batsman when he sent Warner’s off stump cartwheeling.

Warner was bowled for 30. He hit three fours off the last three balls of Rabada’s second over, then hooked the first ball of Rabada’s next over for six.

He sliced a no-ball for four, then was bowled by a ball which went between bat and pad with Warner stuck on his crease.

Rabada, who had a two-match ban for making contact with Australian captain Steve Smith overturned before the Test, ran down the wicket to celebrate but did not go near the batsman.

But Warner appeared to react to a comment from a spectator in the members’ pavilion, stopping and turning as he climbed the steps to the dressing room.

South African opening batsman Dean Elgar equalled a world record when he carried his bat through a completed innings for the third time.

Elgar finished unbeaten on 141. Only Desmond Haynes of the West Indies had previously batted through a Test innings on three occasions.

Smith also equalled a world record when he caught South Africa’s last two batsmen for a total of five catches in the innings, the joint most by a fielder.

Although ten other fielders shared the record, Smith was only the second Australian to achieve the feat after Vic Richardson in 1935/36.

Elgar and Rabada frustrated the Australians for 50 minutes as they took South Africa’s overnight total from 266 for eight. They shared a partnership of 50 before off-spinner Nathan Lyon had Rabada caught by Smith at slip for 22 off his first ball of the day.

Elgar batted for 434 minutes, faced 284 balls and hit 20 fours and a six.

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South Africa v Australia LIVE: Elgar sets world batting record, Warner and Smith out

Sport360 staff 23/03/2018
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South Africa are taking on Australia in the third Test in Cape Town.

The series is perfectly poised at 1-1 following a 118-run victory for Australia in the first Test, and a six-wicket win for South Africa in the second.

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UAE captain Rohan Mustafa hails stunning victory over Zimbabwe

Sport360 staff 22/03/2018
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Mohammad Naveed

Captain Rohan Mustafa hailed a “great achievement” as the UAE ruined Zimbabwe’s World Cup qualification hopes with their first major victory over a Full Member team.

With five points, Zimbabwe needed a victory over either West Indies or UAE to reach the World Cup in England and Wales next year.

But they lost both games, and now only a miraculous low-scoring tie between Ireland and Afghanistan on Friday will see them through. Their World Cup dreams are effectively over – for the UAE, however, it was a stunning triumph.

“A great achievement for the UAE team, because we have never won against a Test nation team,” said Mustafa. “So it’s a great achievement, and it shows the world that UAE, and the other Associate countries, are getting better.

Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer rued his team’s missed opportunities.

“It’s very painful,” Cremer said of Zimbabwe’s defeat. “We had two bites at getting to the final, and we’ve stumbled at the last hurdle.”

He added: “We were so hungry (to win).

“The ball was in our court, we just needed to turn up today and play some of our best cricket, then it might have been a different story. The guys are shattered in the change room. I’m sure most Zimbabweans are.”

Lunchtime rain interrupted the end of UAE’s innings at 235-7, and meant that Zimbabwe faced a revised target of 230 in 40 overs on the DLS method.

They lost early wickets but were restored by counter-attacking innings from Sean Williams and Sikandar Raza. Williams scored 80 in quick time, while Raza cracked 34 from 26 deliveries, but both fell with victory almost in sight, allowing UAE to surge to victory.

“We gave them a few too many, and then to only have 40 overs with the bat, that cost us a bit,” said Cremer.

“We’d still back ourselves to chase 230 in 40 overs, but a poor start again. We keep losing wickets in that first power play, which has probably cost us.”

“When Raza got out, that was crucial for us. Because he could have won that game with a couple of overs to spare, the way he was batting. When Sean got out, that was another big moment in the game.”

The match was watched by around 10,000 spectators, with Harare Sports Club filled to capacity. They cheered Zimbabwe to the last, but were ultimately left disappointed.

“The fans have been excellent, from Bulawayo to here, and another great turnout today,” said Cremer.

“They’ll probably be more disappointed than anyone, because they’ve turned out and at least expected us to win one of these two games to qualify. So there was big expectation on us. We’re really sad that we couldn’t give them what they wanted.”

The West Indies, who edged Scotland by five runs in another rain-hit match on Wednesday, had already secured the first qualifying spot from the tournament.

On Friday, Afghanistan and Ireland will meet at the same Harare Sports Club venue with the winner guaranteed a place in the 2019 finals.

The match will be Niall O’Brien’s 100th ODI for Ireland while Rashid Khan will be looking to claim four wickets to become the quickest bowler to 100 wickets in the 50-over format.

Provided by AFP Sport 

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