ABC News Australia – For South Africa, the third day of the Durban Test was about the slow siphoning away of hope.
- The home side had already surrendered its standing as an equal participant in the contest, after Australia accrued 351 runs on a uncooperative surface before South Africa’s attempted reply was decisively shushed by Mitchell Starc.
- From 189 runs behind on the first innings after two days, a Test match is all but decided before either team bats a second time.
- Could South Africa’s bowlers get on a roll as Starc and Nathan Lyon had done, and dismiss Australia for 120, or 150, or Lord forbid even just under 200?
- Having toured Australia, New Zealand, England, and seemingly every other venue in South Africa, it was also his first Test match at his home ground.
- Marsh helped add another 27 after his close shave, and Smith another 15 — not big numbers, but in the incremental nature of building this lead, South Africa could ill afford even such modest additions.