South Africa have posted 450 runs in their first innings at the Gabba, after the Australians bowled them out on day 3.
Unfortunately for the Proteas, a victory will most likely escape them, especially if the Australians can hold out in their first innings, after rain spoiled day 2 with a complete washout.
It was South Africa’s upper order that once again proved why it is one of the most formidable in cricket, with Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis posting patient and clinical 104 and 147 run efforts respectively. Number three bat Alviro Petersen also contributed with a solid 60.
The start from the Proteas meant that the middle order could play supporting roles, whilst pushing for a target that means the best result for the Australians would be a draw.
Rudolph, Philander, Steyn and Kleinveldt added another 70 runs late, as they thrashed the bat to push the innings total to 450.
All of the Australian bowlers started shakily on a slightly green Gabba wicket, bowling lines that allowed easy runs off the legs and thighs; that gave the South African openers the handy start that the Aussies needed to prevent.
James Pattinson was probably the pick of the lot, bowling 34 overs for just over 90 runs and three important wickets.
It hasn’t all been good news for the Proteas, however, with South African batsmen JP Duminy snapping his Achilles, rendering him out for at least the next sixth months of competitive cricket- it is said that Ashwell Prince will be his likely replacement for the next two tests.
The inexperienced Australian top order have a battle in front of them, with Ed Cowan, Dave Warner and debutant Rob Quiney facing the ferocious South African fast bowling attack. Indeed, the Proteas entered the Brisbane test without a specialist spinner, leaving Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel to do the attacking.
The Australians will bat out the rest of day three, and continue into day 4, tomorrow.