05 Jan NORTJE STRIKES TWICE ON SHORTENED DAY ONE IN SYDNEY
SYDNEY: Anrich Nortje claimed the only two wickets to fall on a rain-disrupted opening day of the final Test between the Proteas and Australia at the SCG in Sydney on Wednesday.
The South Africa fast bowler, as he had done in the previous two Tests, was again excellent on his way to snaring two for 26 in 11 overs that restricted the hosts to 147 for two in the gloomy conditions of New South Wales.
Only 47 overs were sent down on account of the rain and subsequent bad light that caused an initial delay of more than two hours. Before that the home side had dominated through half-centuries from Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne, only for a late Nortje strike to bring the Proteas back.
The tourists entered the match 2-0 down in the three-match series after losing in Brisbane and Melbourne. Captain Dean Elgar lost the toss at the start with his team making two changes to their XI in the form of Heinrich Klaasen and Simon Harmer replacing Theunis de Bruyn and Lungi Ngidi.
They made a bright start to the contest when Nortje struck in the fourth over by tempting David Warner into chasing after a delivery that was instead edged to Marco Jansen at first slip for 10.
The Australians then rebuilt through Khawaja’s unbeaten 54 (121 balls, 6 fours) and a strong 79 (151 balls, 13 fours) via Labuschagne.
The pair took their side to 138 for one before the main lengthy delay prompted an early tea. After the interval, only five more overs were possible and the partnership extended to 135 when it was broken with what turned out to be the final ball of the day. Paceman Nortje again the one to strike, with a ball that bounced sharply and forced Labuschagne to edge behind to wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne.
Proteas Test squad against Australia
Dean Elgar (captain, Momentum Multiply Titans), Temba Bavuma (DP World Lions), Gerald Coetzee (ITEC Knights), Theunis de Bruyn (Momentum Multiply Titans), Sarel Erwee (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Simon Harmer (Momentum Multiply Titans), Marco Jansen (Dafabet Warriors), Heinrich Klaasen (Momentum Multiply Titans), Keshav Maharaj (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Lungi Ngidi (Momentum Multiply Titans), Anrich Nortje (Dafabet Warriors), Kagiso Rabada (DP World Lions), Rassie van der Dussen (DP World Lions), Kyle Verreynne (wicketkeeper, Six Gun Grill Western Province), Lizaad Williams (Momentum Multiply Titans), Khaya Zondo (Hollywoodbets Dolphins).
South Africa Test Tour to Australia Itinerary
Four-day Tour Match
09 – 12 December
Cricket Australia XI drew with South Africa – The Allan Border Field, Brisbane
17 – 21 December
Australia beat South Africa by six wickets – The Gabba, Brisbane
26 – 30 December
Australia beat South Africa by an innings and 182 runs – MCG, Melbourne
04 – 08 January
Australia vs South Africa – SCG, Sydney
Issued by: Cricket South Africa – Corporate Communications
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