Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson struck early for the second time in the match as South Africa were plunged into trouble on the fourth day of the first Test at SuperSport Park yesterday.
Set to make an unlikely 482 to win, South Africa were 132-5 at tea.
As he did in the first innings, Johnson took a wicket in his first over, having Alviro Petersen caught behind for one. It was Johnson’s 250th Test wicket in his 57th Test match.
South Africa captain Graeme Smith, who was Johnson’s first-over victim in the first innings, hit a four off a thick outside edge in Johnson’s second over, but then fell to a superb catch by Alex Doolan when Smith clipped the ball firmly to short leg.
Faf du Plessis was the third man out, with the total on 49, falling victim to a ball which shot through low from Peter Siddle and trapped him in front of his stumps. It was one of several deliveries which bounced unpredictably.
Johnson, who took 7-68 in the first innings, had figures of 3-45 at tea.
Australia captain Michael Clarke declared his side’s second innings closed at 290-4 after only 3.2 overs earlier yesterday when Shaun Marsh was caught behind off Dale Steyn without adding to his overnight score of 44.
On Friday, David Warner took over from Johnson as South Africa’s tormentor-in-chief as he blitzed a quickfire 115 to extend his team’s significant lead.
Australia were in a commanding position when Warner and debutant Doolan (89) extended the lead.
Warner’s contribution with the bat, ably supported by Doolan, followed a seven-wicket haul for Johnson as South Africa were bowled out for 206 in their first innings before lunch.
It was a typically cavalier innings by Warner who punished the bowlers, but was dropped three times. The first was the easiest opportunity when Warner was on 27, but substitute fielder Dean Elgar dropped a high one in the deep.
Two more slashes provided top edges for the slips that Alviro Petersen and Graeme Smith got hands to, but could not hold, giving Warner an invitation to continue plundering runs.