JOHANNESBURG, March 31, 2018 (AFP) – Australia’s ball-tampering scandal came back to bite them when three replacement batsmen failed on a disastrous day for the tourists in the fourth Test against South Africa at the Wanderers Stadium on Saturday.
South Africa moved closer to a series win as Australia slumped to 110 for six at the end of the second day in reply to the imposing first-innings total of 488 made by the hosts.
South Africa, leading the series 2-1, need only to draw to beat Australia in a home series for the first time since 1969/70.
Opening batsmen Joe Burns and Matt Renshaw were out for four and eight respectively while Peter Handscomb was out first ball for nought to leave Australia reeling at 38 for three.
The trio were playing in place of Cameron Bancroft, David Warner and captain Steve Smith, who were all banned and sent home in disgrace after the ball-tampering scandal which rocked the third Test in Cape Town last weekend.
Usman Khawaja made a stroke-filled 53 as he and Shaun Marsh delayed South Africa’s progress with a fourth-wicket stand of 52.
But wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock, standing up to the wicket, made an outstanding leg-side catch off the bowling of Vernon Philander to dismiss Khawaja.
Philander finished the day with three for 17 off 12 overs.
Shaun Marsh survived a stumping chance off Keshav Maharaj in the over after Khawaja’s dismissal but both Marsh brothers fell before the close to leave Australia with a monumental task over the remaining three days.
Mitchell Marsh edged an extravagant drive against Morne Morkel into his stumps and three balls later Shaun Marsh was caught at slip by AB de Villiers off Maharaj.