South Africa's Kagiso Rabada, center, celebrates taking the wicket of Australia's Steve Smith.
South Africa's Kagiso Rabada, center, celebrates taking the wicket of Australia's Steve Smith. Rob Griffith

Rabada has Australia on the brink of Test defeat

TWO late wickets to South African quick Kagiso Rabada have given the visitors a decisive edge heading into day five of the first Test match at the WACA.

Rabada bowled a superb spell of fast reverse-swing bowling in the final session to pick up the wickets of Australia captain Steve Smith and Adam Voges.

The Aussies finished on 4-169 still needing a further 370 for an improbable victory on day five on a pitch now full of cracks after four days of baking in the Perth sun.

Smith, 35, and Usman Khawaja, who ended the day 58 not out had put on 92 for the third wicket after the home team lost the wickets of David Warner and Shaun Marsh at the same score (52).

The Aussie pair had looked fairly comfortable until Rabada came in with about an hour to go.

Australia's Steve Smith walks off the field after South Africa's Kagiso Rabada took his wicket on the fourth day of play.
Australia's Steve Smith walks off the field after South Africa's Kagiso Rabada took his wicket on the fourth day of play. Rob Griffith

He started to move the ball both ways in the air, causing both Smith and Khawaja problems.

Rabada got Smith edging to keeper Quinton de Kock with an outswinger before getting Voges (1) the same way after bowling a brilliant over to the veteran.

Earlier any hopes of a history-making run chase after Temba Bavuma produced some brilliant fielding to run out Warner with a direct hit.

Marsh went soon after edging to second slip putting the Proteas on top. The Smith/Khawaja partnership brought some hope before Rabada's late heroics.

South Africa surprisingly kept batting after lunch, eventually declaring on 8-540 a lead of 538.

Vernon Philander was last man out for 73 after he and de Kock (64) had kept the runs flowing.

Kesha's Maharaj remained unbeaten on 41 from 34 deliveries, having struck three sixes off Nathan Lyon before the declaration.



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