Still anyone's game at the Wanderers

Australia

Ricky Ponting found some form while Usman Khawaja hit a maiden half-ton as Australia reached 142 for three on the penultimate day of the second Test against South Africa.

Ricky Ponting found some form while Usman Khawaja hit a maiden Test half-century as Australia reached 142 for three at stumps on the penultimate day of the second Test against South Africa at the Wanderers.

The momentum swung back and forth throughout day four and it is still anyone's guess who will come out on top as the visitors still require another 168 runs to win the game and square the series. South Africa, though, won't be too unhappy as they removed Khawaja for 65 shortly before the close of play.

After falling for single-figures scores in a row, the knives were out for Ponting as he strode to the crease with the score 19 for two after both openers were out early. Vernon Philander removed both, with Shane Watson bowled after leaving one that nipped back in to castle the stumps and Phillip Hughes edging to second slip.

Former skipper Ponting looked his old self throughout his knock, with some good pull shots and a couple of drives down the ground. His 57th Test half-ton was not only a weight off his own shoulder, but will also be welcomed by the team management, who were under pressure to drop him for the upcoming New Zealand series.

Ponting's 122-run stand with Khawaja will have made Graeme Smith very nervous but he will no doubt enjoy his night's rest a lot more after Imran Tahir got rid of Khawaja in what proved to be the final over of the day. The left-hander halfheartedly pushed forward at a googly from the leg-spinner and edged it to slip.

Michael Clarke faced only one ball before the umpires took the players off for bad light. He will join Ponting, on 54 not out, when play resumes on Monday.

Sunday's plaudits, though, should all go to debutant Pat Cummins, who got Australia back into the game as he once again upstaged his more senior bowling partners.

While Mitchell Johnson was all over the show, Cummins kept plugging away at a very good line and length and he was rewarded with second-innings figures of six for 79 in his first Test. He ended a 147-run stand between Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers as the latter followed a wide one and hit it straight to second slip to depart for 73.

Amla went to his 14th Test century with a cut through gully for four, but the South African celebrations were short-lived as the right-hander ran his partner out three balls later. After pushing it to point he set off for a single that wasn't there. Ashwell Prince had no chance and sacrificed himself so that the set batsman could stay out in the middle.

Amla, though, didn't make the most of Prince's generosity and as he was out for 105, edging Johnson's approach across him to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin. Mark Boucher's lean series with the bat continued as he edged spinner Nathan Lyon to first slip. The wicketkeeper-batsman stood his ground after the catch was completed, but he was sent on his way after television replays confirmed a healthy edge.

Clarke delayed taking the new ball and it allowed Philander and Dale Steyn to frustrate the bowlers with a 48-run stand, but Cummins was again at it after lunch.

He dismissed the final three batsmen in the space of four overs to wrap up the South Africa innings for 339. He sent Philander and Morne Morkel on their way with the first two balls of the session. He got one to fizz across Philander's chest and the right-hander couldn't get his glove away in time. Although the batsman referred the decision, television replays showed it just brushed the thumb. Morkel, meanwhile, was yorked by the first ball he faced.

Final man in, Tahir managed to keep the hat-trick ball out and gave Steyn enough of the strike to allow the would-be all-rounder to hammer a couple of sixes to take the hosts' lead to 310. Steyn was last man out for 41 as he got an edge off Cummins through to the 'keeper

Steyn's late flurry was enough to give the South Africans a big lift as very few sides successfully chase a score of in excess of 250 runs at the Wanderers.

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