Sport

In face of taunts, scandal-tainted Australia finds its fight

In face of taunts, scandal-tainted Australia finds its fight”

As the South African crowd taunted them over the ball-tampering scandal, Australia's players found their fight in the final test on Friday.

South Africa are seeking a first home series win over the Australians since 1970 and will be heavy favourites as they take their settled squad into the fixture against a touring side in chaos. Fast bowler Mitchell Starc has a stress fracture in his leg and was replaced by Sayers.

Australia, who will be without David Warner, Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft, will be led by Tim Paine and will look to get back to the sport and pick up a win to boost their morale after what has been a tough week for them.

South Africa vs Australia 4th Test will be played at Wanderers in Johannesburg.

The trio were replaced by Matt Renshaw, Joe Burns and Peter Handscomb.

South Africa were 177 for two at tea, with Markram on 111 not out, after winning the toss and batting at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.

Cummins checked South Africa's momentum in the same over, though, finally taking the crucial wicket of Markram - who dabbed one to gully - before swinging one in to have Faf du Plessis (0) trapped lbw from the next ball.

Debutant Chadd Sayers (2-64) removed AB de Villiers (69) with the new ball and two deliveries later had nightwatchman Kagiso Rabada caught without scoring.

Du Plessis promised his team would be ruthless in its effort to seal the series amid Australia's crisis and Markram was the best illustration of that, knuckling down to make his fourth century in his 10th test and hitting 17 fours and a six.

South Africa made steady progress throughout the morning, although Dean Elgar's disjointed knock of 19 ended with a skewed lob off Nathan Lyon that Sayers took at mid-off.

The chants over the absence of Smith and Warner were occasional and in pockets, but were a reminder that Australia might have to face up to the embarrassing ball-tampering episode for some time to come.

The extraordinary elevation of wicketkeeper Tim Paine as the team's 46th test captain is a remarkable tale, even considering the circumstances, having previous year considered quitting the game after finding himself out of the Tasmania side.



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