Recent Match Report – Australia vs South Africa 3rd Test 2022/23

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Lunch Australia 475/4 (Khawaja 195*, Smith 104, Nortje 2-55) Vs. South Africa

Rain continued to thwart Australia’s push for a series sweep over South Africa after a disappointing first session of the fourth day was washed out at the SCG.

The third Test has stalled disappointingly as day three was abandoned without a ball being bowled. Khawaja stuck to his highest Test score of 195, while Matt Renshaw scored an unbeaten 5 in his first Test since 2018 after testing positive for Covid-19 before the first day of play.

Renshaw returned negative rapid antigen tests yesterday and this morning.

All eyes will be on Australia captain Pat Cummins and whether he will bat to ensure that Khawaja has a chance to reach his maiden Test double century. But a waiting game has ensued with play delayed on the fourth day due to a wet outfield before rain resumes. , Sydney’s forecast is better for the rest of the day ahead of Sunday’s sunshine, but that may not be enough for anything other than a draw.

The implications are with a win for Australia on course to book a place in the final of the World Test Championship in June, while an improbable win for South Africa keeps their chances of qualifying alive.

Sydney was lashed by heavy rain on Friday with 56 mm of rain, continuing a run of rain-affected matches in the traditional SCG New Year’s Test. Thirty-nine overs were wasted on the opening two days due to rain and bad light.

After opening the batting on the first day, Khawaja joined Geoff Boycott, Sadiq Mohammad, Mark Taylor and Manoj Prabhakar as the only openers whose innings continued into the fourth day.

Australia’s stupendous innings was built on a 209-run partnership for the second wicket between Khawaja and Steven Smith. It was their 10th century partnership in just 33 innings and from the highest stand, surpassing their 188 against England at the SCG in 2018.

Smith fell for 104 to go past Sir Don Bradman on the list of career Test centuries with his 30th, while Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head contributed half-centuries.

A flagging South Africa are likely to avoid defeat, although at some stage their struggling batting line-up will have to face the music against Australia’s attack featuring new Josh Hazlewood and a returning spinner Ashton Agar, which will be the most successful since 2017. Playing his first test since.

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