Australia must score 612 to beat South Africa and salvage series draw

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• South Africa 488 & 344-6 dec; Australia 221 & 88-3
• Morne Morkel strikes twice in his final Test

Morne Morkel took two wickets to restrict Australia to 88 for three at the close on the fourth day of the final Test as South Africa marched towards an emphatic victory. Having set Australia 612 for a win that would level the series, the home side removed the tourists’ top three batsmen – despite injury concerns over their pace trio which delayed South Africa’s declaration until tea.

Peter Handscomb (23) and Shaun Marsh (seven) will set about saving the Test on the fifth day but only a near impossible victory would ensure Australia avoid a first series defeat in South Africa for almost 50 years. But the home side have injury worries over all their fast bowlers: Kagiso Rabada has a stiff lower back, Morkel is struggling with a side strain and Vernon Philander has a groin problem. That meant they limited the number of overs the trio had to bowl as the hosts declared on 344 for six after a stylish century from the captain, Faf du Plessis.

Related: South Africa v Australia: fourth Test, day four – as it happened

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from Cricket | The Guardian
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