Australia vs South Africa: Alex Carey became the first Australia wicketkeeper-batter to score a hundred at MCG in a Boxing Day Test as he helped the hosts continue their dominant ways against the visiting Proteas side.
- South Africa went to Stumps at 15/1, trailing Australia by 371 runs
- Alex Carey hit a crucial hundred after David Warner’s double in Australia’s 1st innings
- South Africa are staring at another big defeat
Alex Carey’s maiden Test hundred wiped out any chance of South Africa clawing back into the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne as Australia continued to dominate the Proteas in the ongoing 3-match series. Carey scripted history by becoming the first Australian wicketkeeper to score a century at the MCG in a Boxing Day Test as he batted wonderfully well with the tail to help the hosts post 575 in their first innings.
Australia who were in a position of strength at close of play on Day 2 – 386 for 3. However, they were rocked on the morning session on Wednesday with Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada picking up wickets in a hurry. Australia slipped to 400 for 6 before Alex Carey stitched crucial partnerships with off-spinner Nathan Lyon and all-rounder Cameron Green, who braved a broken finger to bat again for Australia after he walked off retired hurt on Day 2.
Nortje struck twice in two balls as South Africa grabbed four wickets in the morning session. Nortje bowled Travis Head for 51 and then bowled David Warner on the next delivery with a rocketing yorker after the veteran opener resumed on 200, having retired hurt with a cramp on Day 2. Warner received a standing ovation from the MCG crowd for his heroics after having proved naysayers wrong with his 3rd double hundred.
Cummins defended the hat-trick ball but the home skipper was soon caught behind for four off the bowling of paceman Kagiso Rabada.
CAREY’S CRUCIAL HUNDRED
Carey stitched a 40-run partnership with Lyon, who threw his wicket away while trying to pull a short ball from Lungi Ngidi. Carey then added 117 runs with Green for the 8th wicket.
Carey hit 111 in just 149 balls as he played with authority against the South Africa bowlers, who fell flat after the opening burst on Day 3. Carey hit 13 boundaries while Green went on the offensive, hitting 7 boundaries and a six for his 55-ball 51 not out.
Australia declared in the second session with the score reading 575 for 8, taking a huge first-innings lead of 386.
South Africa lost captain Dean Elgar for 0 in the second over of the second innings with Pat Cummins inducing an edge that was safely carried by Carey.
Sarel Erwee (7) and Theunis de Bruyn (6) remained unbeaten at Stumps as rain forced an early end to the day’s play. The two South Africa batters were relieved to head back to the pavilion as Australia bowlers were ramping up the intensity, looking for late wickets on Day 3.
Mitchell Starc, who picked up a finger injury, braved the pain and bowled for Australia on Day 3 while Cameron Green will take no further part in the Test. Green, who picked up a finger injury, was ruled out of the 3rd Test, which will be played in Sydney from January 3.
A big defeat will hamper South Africa’s hopes of qualifying for the final of the World Test Championship.
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