Cricket Australia Rain

South Africa needs no less than a superhuman batting effort from the Proteas to save an innings loss in Melbourne as Australia is nine wickets away from claiming an unassailable 2-0 lead in the Boxing Day Test against South Africa.

The MCG’s third day saw Alex Carey emerge as Australia’s hero after scoring his first Test century just before the hosts declared on Wednesday afternoon with a score of 8-575.

The score was 1-15 when South Africa’s captain returned to the locker room, and the game was abruptly called due to rain.

Rain interrupts the Australian advance

Due to the rain, day three’s opening ceremony was delayed by 15 minutes. When the weather cleared up, though, Travis Head reached his 11th Test fifty before being dismissed for 51 by South African paceman Anrich Nortje the next ball.

A rousing round of applause greeted David Warner as he left the MCG to resume his marathon knock on Tuesday after he had to quit hurt after reaching a career-defining double century.

The very next ball, though, Nortje struck him with a low full toss that ricocheted off his pads and onto the stumps, dismissing the left-hander, who sheepishly made his way back to the pavilion.

Despite surviving the hat-trick delivery, Pat Cummins of Australia was bowled by Kagiso Rabada for 4 the next over after a DRS review revealed a little murmur as the Kookaburra passed his bat.

Given that day two’s play was controlled by the bat, the hosts had lost 3-5 in six deliveries, which was a stunning turn of events. Before leaving for 25, Nathan Lyon played a fun cameo with the bat and brought Cameron Green, who was hurt, to the crease.

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Green and Carey worked together for 117 runs to push Australia’s lead beyond 350 despite Green breaking his finger the previous night.

Carey accelerated at the other end, slamming the drained Proteas speed attack to every part of the storied arena while Green cautiously probed and defended at one end. With a cut shot past the covers, the South Australian scored his first century in a Test match, becoming the seventh wicketkeeper among Australian men to do so.

At the polls, Carey told reporters, “It was good to be able to build on our start from yesterday.

“This one is particularly exceptional; it’s obviously a significant occasion. But it’s also fantastic to support the Australian cricket team in their quest for victory. To win games is what we play for. “You fantasize about it… You put in a lot of effort each day to give your best effort.

“I’m quite proud of myself. Although the trip has been challenging, I never lost my heart while competing at the top level of athletics.”

A bouncer from Marco Jansen that Carey misjudged and awkwardly swatted in the air for a comfortable return catch caused him to go for 111 shortly after. Mitchell Starc joined Green in the middle not long after, and the West Australian quickly reached his sixth Test fifty with a lavish cut stroke over point.

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