Cummins takes six as Australia push for win

Last Updated: Sunday, November 20, 2011 - 22:28

Johannesburg: Teenage fast bowler Pat Cummins took six wickets on his debut as Australia kept alive their hopes of squaring the series on the fourth day of the second and final Test against South Africa at the Wanderers Stadium on Sunday.

A century partnership between Usman Khawaja (65) and Ricky Ponting (54 not out) enabled Australia to reach 142 for three at the close, 168 runs short of achieving the highest successful run chase at the Wanderers.

Khawaja was caught at slip off leg-spinner Imran Tahir one ball before bad light ended play after he and Ponting had put on 122 for the third wicket.

Cummins took six for 79 and was mainly responsible for South Africa being bowled out for 339, leaving Australia with 310 to win. Hashim Amla top-scored for South Africa with 105.

The target seemed a distant one when Shane Watson padded up to Vernon Philander and was bowled by the second ball of Australia`s second innings.

Philander followed up in his next over when Phil Hughes was caught at second slip.

But Khawaja and Ponting, both with points to prove, batted sensibly to blunt South Africa`s attack.

Khawaja, playing in his fourth Test, made his first Test half-century, while Ponting, in his 156th appearance, reached double figures for the first time in the series and went on to pass fifty for the 96th time in his career.

The left-handed Khawaja seemed to have difficulty reading Tahir`s variations and edged a ball which went straight on to present a catch to Jacques Kallis at slip.

Australian captain Michael Clarke scored a single off the next ball before the umpires decided the light was too bad for further play.

Cummins, 18, produced a high-quality display as he became the youngest player to take five wickets or more in an innings on Test debut.

Cummins made the first breakthrough in the South African innings when he dismissed Jacques Rudolph on Saturday, then won a duel with South Africa`s star batsman Kallis. He again made a crucial early strike on Sunday when he had AB de Villiers caught at second slip to end a 147- run fourth wicket stand between De Villiers and Amla.

South Africa lost four wickets for 37 runs at the start of Sunday`s play before an eighth wicket stand of 48 between Philander and Dale Steyn stretched their lead.

Again it was Cummins who produced for Australia, bowling a brutal bouncer with the first ball after lunch which Philander gloved to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin. He yorked Morne Morkel with his next delivery.

Steyn had a successful slog, hitting sixes off Peter Siddle and Cummins before Cummins finished the innings by having Steyn caught behind for 41, ending a last wicket stand of 25 which took the lead beyond 300.

Amla top-scored for South Africa, taking his overnight 89 to 105 before he was caught behind off Mitchell Johnson. It was Amla`s 14th Test century and his second of the series.

Bureau Report



First Published: Sunday, November 20, 2011 - 22:28

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