Australia made a steady start in their chase of 127 to win the day-night third Test, after dismissing South Africa early on the fourth day at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday (November 26).
At the tea break, Australia were 27 without loss and 100 runs away from victory with David Warner on 20 and newcomer Matt Renshaw unbeaten on 3.
The South Africans thought they had taken the wicket of Renshaw in the second over when they appealed for a catch at slip by Hashim Amla off Vernon Philander. But umpire Richard Kettleborough was unmoved and a review showed the ball had no contact with Renshaw’s bat. It was the ninth review in this series involving Kettleborough, who has a 100 percent success rate.
South Africa will be hoping to repeat their predecessors’ famous five-run victory in Sydney 22 years ago when they bowled out Australia for 111.
The visitors, who thrashed Australia in the first two Tests to claim a third consecutive series against the opposition in their den, resumed on their overnight score of 194 for 6 but could only add 56 runs before they were dismissed for 250. Stephen Cook, the opener, delayed the end as much as he could with a defiant century.
Cook brought up his second Test century, and first against Australia, with a pull through square leg for four off Josh Hazlewood. It was a big finish to an underwhelming series for Cook, who had scores of 0, 12, 23 and 40 in his other innings before his timely ton off 235 balls.
Cook was the last man out when he was bowled by Mitchell Starc 45 minutes before the tea break.
Quinton de Kock, who dominated in the first two Tests, fell for just 5 in the morning session. He was initially adjudged not out when Jackson Bird appealed for lbw, but Australia sought a review and replays showed the ball hitting de Kock’s front pad, pitching on middle and leg stump.
It was a massive blow for South Africa’s hopes of posting a defendable target for Australia to chase down in the fourth innings.
Kagiso Rabada lasted just nine balls before he edged a leg-side delivery from Hazlewood to a diving Matthew Wade to bring the innings to a close.