Digging in

Given the elbow: Australian batsman David Warner looks to the heavens after deflecting a Kyle Abbott delivery onto his stumps at Bellerive Oval. Picture: Getty ImagesSouth African dynamo Quinton de Kock believes his side can inflict a series-clinching innings defeat despite his front-row view of Australia’s attempted fightbackin Hobart.
Nanjing Night Net

A swashbuckling century from the exciting wicket-keeper batsman helped the Proteas to a commanding lead in the Second Test which the hosts clawed back to 120 runs by stumps.

Asked if he believed his team could win without having to bat again, de Kock said: “We are fairly confident but it’s not going to be easy because Australia are batting really well on that wicket.”

After bizarre dismissals of Joe Burns and David Warner, Usman Khawaja (56) and Steve Smith (18) saw Australia to stumps at 2-121.

“Usman’s batting exceptionally well and Steve Smith is always contributing. they are only two wickets down and the lead is 120 so there’s still a lot of work ahead but we are fairly confident.”

On a day when Tasmanian schoolchildren took advantage of free admission to help produce a 6283 crowd, South Africa taught their hosts a lesson in batting patience.

But Aussie quick Josh Hazlewood, who took 6-89 to limit the damage, backed his batters to take the match to a fourth innings.

“We talked about the very tough periods and saw one this afternoon when Kyle Abbott and [Kagiso] Rabada were bowling well together when it’s just about getting through and congratulations to Ussie on getting through that,” he said.

“Hopefully he scores some more runs tomorrow.

“It’s good for us to make them bowl a lot of balls. The longer we can keep them out there the better because it’s still a pretty good wicket.”

Hazlewood said the team was staying positive despite losing both openers in unfortunate circumstances.

“They were two pretty unlucky dismissals but the boys have shown some good fight digging in and a good partnership in the morning will go a long way. Those things go against you when you least want them to.”

Reports: Pages 32-33, 35This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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