Five-fer: Day three at Newlands

Australia

Day three of the third Test in Cape Town dawned overcast, but soon the clouds gave way and the pitch started to swing like a Big Band. It wasn't bad for batting though, and the Proteas will be gutted with their effort.

Day three of the third Test in Cape Town dawned overcast, but soon the clouds gave way and the pitch started to swing like a Big Band. It wasn't bad for batting though, and the Proteas will be gutted with their effort.

After declaring on 494 for seven, just 15 minutes before play began, the Aussies removed the hosts for 287, half an hour before the close. The Aussies then batted out six over to end with a lead of 234, on 27 for none.

<b>1. Save The Ryano</b>

You know how after the Port Elizabeth Test, a tired Ryan Harris said he felt like a 'bowling machine' as the Aussies lost and the Proteas batted really well? Today he was a bowling MACHINE! Seriously, like a boss.

The veteran, possibly on his last tour for Australia, depending on his knee, bowled like a man possessed, and like someone who knew his time in the sun was coming to an end. How he's remained injury-free for so long is anyone's guess, and knee surgery looms.

But before he goes under the knife back home, he made sure to put in a superb spell of fast bowling. He removed Graeme Smith early on, with the skipper unable to leave one going across his body, and then reversed the ball into Hashim Amla's stumps. Also, JP Duminy.

<b>2. Bloody Biff…</b>

When Smith was out for five, yet again edging one behind off a fast bowler going across his body, it became increasingly difficult to fend off the haters. Emails came pouring in, demanding the world's best skipper be dropped.

Look, as said before, that's not going to happen. He might retire, ala Vaughan and Strauss, at the end of the tour, but even that seems unlikely from one of the more iron-jawed men in cricket. There will be no crying at his presser.

But… it's getting tricky. His average in this series, at 8.5 or summat, is the lowest by a South African top order batsman in a series since 1929, or something. Either that or 1992. The point is: Not good.

<b>3. What Kind Of Shot Was That?!</b>

It's not often AB de Villiers plays an utterly rubbish shot to get out. Not lately, anyway, given his sparkling form. But today he was out for 14 (less than 50? Gasp!) and his feet looked like they were cased in cement.

He played away from his body and was caught in the slips. Also playing a rubbish shot: JP Duminy. He also failed to move his feet and played at a wider Harris delivery, and was thus caught behind. Exhibit C: Faf du Plessis.

<b>4. Don't Touch My Ball!</b>

Speaking of Faf, his rubbish shot to get out was preceded by an innings of 135 deliveries and nearly three hours. He made 67, having survived a nick off his first ball faced that the umpire did not pick up. The next over, an edge failed to carry to slip.

Then, when he was on 30, he should have been stumped off Nathan Lyon, but Brad Haddin missed it, and it was relatively easy. So aside from his usual grit, Faf got a bit of luck. But, his marathon resistance was not to be repeated.

The stand out moment though was when he quickly picked up the ball after blocking it, chucked it to the fielder, and was shouted at by almost all the Aussies. 'I thought I was being a nice guy,' said a mischievous Faf after stumps.

<b>5. Bowler v Bowler</b>

As the day drew to a close, Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander played some cameo knocks, making 28 and 37 not out respectively. Steyn played one upper cut for four that the top order would have been envious of, and Big Vern was at the crease for 194 minutes.

But it was interesting to see the Johnson v Steyn battle, as the Aussie quick aimed bouncer after bouncer at his counterpart. When Steyn was on 18, he was smashed on the helmet, right on the badge, same as MiJo suffered against Morne Morkel earlier in the series.

<b>Lindsay du Plessis</b>

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