David Warner and Alex Doolan built on Australia’s sizeable advantage after Mitchell Johnson destroyed South Africa’s first innings on the third day of the first Test at SuperSport Park yesterday.
Warner (93 not out) and Doolan (48 not out) took Australia to 147-1 in their second innings at tea, an overall lead of 338.
Johnson continued his devastating form of the recent Ashes series against England — and his superb opening spell on the second day — and finished with seven for 68 as South Africa were bowled out for 206 in reply to Australia’s 397.
A.B. de Villiers made a sparkling 91 for South Africa before he was ninth man out.
The left-handed Warner was dropped three times, but played some thrilling attacking strokes as he and new cap Doolan added an unbeaten 146 for the second wicket after Chris Rogers was bowled by Dale Steyn in the second over of Australia’s second innings.
Warner’s first chance came on 26 when he hooked Vernon Philander to fine-leg where substitute Dean Elgar dived, but could not hold the ball.
He edged the next ball he faced, from Morne Morkel, high to second slip where a leaping Alviro Petersen could only get his fingertips to it. Then, on 51, he was dropped in similar fashion by Graeme Smith at first slip when he slashed at Ryan McLaren.
Warner had faced 115 balls by tea, hitting 11 fours and two sixes.
Doolan was more circumspect and faced 85 balls, hitting seven fours.
Johnson struck with his fourth ball of the day when Robin Peterson fended a sharply lifting delivery to Michael Clarke moving to his left from second slip.
Vernon Philander played a dogged innings of 15 before he was trapped leg before wicket by off-spinner Nathan Lyon. Umpire Richard Illingworth gave Philander not out, but Australia successfully sought a review which showed the ball was hitting the stumps.
De Villiers was the only batsman to play Johnson with any comfort and he slammed the big left-arm fast bowler through the covers for four as he sought quick runs before the innings ended. However, he lofted the next ball to mid-off to end a 148-ball innings that included 10 fours and two sixes.