Australia 1st innings 550 (Michael Clarke 230, David Warner 119, Michael Hussey 103, Morne Morkel 5-146) 2nd innings 5-111 (Warner 41, Ed Cowan 29, Rory Kleinveldt 3-14) leads South Africa 1st innings 388 Graeme Smith 122, Faf du Plessis 78, Ben Hilfenhaus 3-49) by 273 runs.
The South African bowlers brought their team back in the match by clinching five Australian wickets in the second innings and kept the game alive.
Australia amassed 550 runs in the first innings and managed 111 runs for the loss of five wickets at close of day three. South Africa was bowled out for 388 runs in 124.3 overs, conceiving a first innings lead of 162 runs.
The third day’s play concluded at Adelaide Oval on Saturday, November 24, 2012.
Earlier, the Proteas started their first innings at their overnight score of 2-217 in 67 overs, Graeme Smith and Jacques Rudolph were unbeaten on 111 and 25 runs respectively. The batsmen initiated well and took the score to 233 in 73 overs as Rudolph became the first victim for 29 runs on the first ball of the next over. The smooth going Smith was caught behind by the wicketkeeper Matthew Wade off Peter Siddle for 122 off 244 balls with 14 fours in the 75th over. AB de Villiers multiplied the miseries of the tourists when he was declared leg before wicket off Siddle for just one run and they were five wickets down for 240 runs.
The debutant, Faf du Plessis took over as a couple of wickets fell in no time from the other end when Jacques Kallis, who was suffering from hamstring, joined him in the park. The duo changed the tempo of the game with their aggressive batting as suddenly the boundaries were showering from their blades. Kallis added 13 runs in the 97th over off Siddle with 3 consecutive fours as du Plessis carried on compiling runs from the other end and the third hundred of the innings was posted on board in the 101st over.
Jacques Kallis was severe on Peter Siddle and hit another 3 fours four overs later and smashed his 100th fifty plus runs of his Test career on the third ball of the 113rd over followed by a six on the last delivery. He was declared caught behind by the third umpire after a referral once the field umpire turned down the appeal. Jacques Kallis was caught by Matthew Wade off Michael Clarke on 58 off 93 with 1 six and 10 fours.
Faf du Plessis achieved his maiden Test half century in the 116th over. The visitors avoided the follow on when Morne Morkel added two runs on the third ball of the 118th over and score reached 352. Faf du Plessis was dropped by Ricky Ponting off Siddle on the last ball of the next over at 58. The batsman utilized the chance fully by sending the ball out of fence regularly while accumulating 10 runs in the 123rd over with 1 six and 1 four. Faf du Plessis was the last victim when he was caught by Michael Clarke off Ben Hilfenhaus for 78 from 159 balls with 1 six and 13 fours. The first innings of the Proteas was folded back for 388 runs in 124.3 overs and they fell short of 162 runs scored by the Kangaroos.
Ben Hilfenhaus was the most successful bowler with three wickets, Nathan Lyon and Peter Siddle shared two each whereas Michael Clarke and David Warner held one wicket each.
The Australian openers, Ed Cowan and David Warner, provided them a flying beginning by scoring 10 runs in the first over. The proceedings were slowed down a bit and they reached 36 at the end of the 10th over. The pair added 10 runs in the next over followed by 14 runs from Warner in the 12th over with 3 fours. The openers provided a solid stand of 77 runs in 16 overs when Warner was caught by du Plessis at extra cover off Rory Kleinveldt on the first ball of the next over for 41 off 60 balls with 6 fours.
Rob Quiney was caught behind by the wicketkeeper AB de Villiers two balls later for a duck as Ricky Ponting joined in with Cowan. Ponting hit 10 runs in the 20th over off Imran Tahir with a couple of fours as Ed Cowan was clean bowled by Kleinveldt for 29 on the last ball of the following over. Dale Steyn got rid of Ponting in the 27th over after he had scored 16 runs and the night watchman, Petere Siddle, was gone for just one run.
The dependable duo of the Kangaroos, Michael Clarke and Michael Hussey, was at the crease at 9 and 5 runs accordingly when the play was called off on the third day. Australia scored 111 runs with five wickets in hand and has an overall lead of 273 runs with five wickets still in hand.
Rory Klieinveldt was the top wicket taker with three whereas Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel got one wicket each.
Australia is in a commanding position and with the two batsmen in form at the crease who can pile up a winning total on board. South Africa will have to continue with their lethal bowling and their determined batting in the second innings can clinch them the game which will be a historical moment at Adelaide Oval.