07 Jan ZONDO HITS CAREER-BEST AS PROTEAS STRUGGLE
SYDNEY: Khaya Zondo recorded the highest score of his brief career but it was not enough as the Proteas’ batting continued to struggle on the fourth day of the third and final Test against Australia at the SCG in Sydney on Saturday.
The right-hander, playing in his fifth Test, hit 39 off 83 balls as South Africa were reduced to 149 for six at the close of another weather-shortened day in which the hosts had declared on 475 for four. This after no play was possible on day three because of rain and before lunch on day four due to a wet outfield caused by the elements.
The Australians ending their innings at the start of play meant that opener Usman Khawaja was denied the chance to score a double century and instead left stranded not out on 195 (368 balls, 19 fours, 1 six).
It left the tourists five sessions to bat out the game, but their poor batting trend of the tour continued to haunt them as they lost three early wickets in the form of captain Dean Elgar, Sarel Erwee and new man Heinrich Klaasen. The skipper was out for 15, caught in tangle down the leg side by wicketkeeper Alex Carey from an excellent delivery by Josh Hazlewood (2/29). Erwee completely misjudged a straight delivery from Nathan Lyon (1/65) and was bowled for 18, while Klaasen, playing in only his second Test, was also caught down the leg side by Carey, this time captain Pat Cummins (3/29) the bowler for two.
Those three early strikes left the visitors on 37 for three, before Zondo combined with Temba Bavuma to help their side consolidate and reach tea without further damage. The pair put on an innings-high 48 for the fourth wicket either side of the break, but the stand then broke when an error from the latter saw him caught behind by Carey off Hazlewood following a gutsy 35.
It was a bitter blow for the Proteas, but Zondo soldiered on with another solid stand of 45 alongside Kyle Verreynne (19). Both batters, however, fell to the pick-of the-bowlers Cummins during the final hour leaving South Africa six down and an almost insignificant 326 behind at stumps.
Marco Jansen was unbeaten on 10 and Simon Harmer on six was batting alongside him ahead of the final day where the Proteas will be looking to save some pride from the tour.
Proteas Test squad against Australia
Dean Elgar (captain, Momentum Multiply Titans), Temba Bavuma (DP World Lions), Gerald Coetzee (ITEC Knights), 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