Pat Cummins got the vital wicket of Faf du Plessis on day four of the first test against Australia in Durban. Photo: @OfficialCSA via Twitter

Australia ruthlessly closed in on a massive, first Test victory at Kingsmead, as they reduced South Africa to 63 for four at lunch on day four.

The Australians were bowled out for 227 early into the fourth day, with Keshav Maharaj taking his ninth wicket of the match to wrap up the innings, with South Africa needina mammoth 417 to win. That allowed the Aussies to start making inroads into the Proteas top-order, and they did so with relish.

Mitchell Starc started the rot, as he had Dean Elgar caught behind for 9. The struggling Hashim Amla was next, as he was trapped leg-before, after a sustained appeal by Josh Hazlewood.

Amla reviewed the decision, but the ball was clipping the top of leg-stump, and he was on his way for 8. AB de Villiers then ran himself out, as he set off for a crazy single from the non-striker’s end, only to turn halfway, and be found wanting by David Warner’s throw.

Pat Cummins then put the cherry on top of a terrific morning’s work by the tourists, as he rushed an in-swinger through the defences of Faf du Plessis, and sent the off-stump flying.

Aiden Markram, observing the madness from the other end, was 38 not out at lunch, with Theunis de Bruyn on 2.

IOL Sport

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