JP Duminy and Dean Elgar both registered their fifth Test match hundreds as South Africa moved into a position of control in the second session of the third day's play at the WACA, Perth on Saturday (November 5). Duminy scored 141 while Elgar was unbeaten on 112 as the visitors' lead swelled to 293. The 250-run stand - second only to Eddie Barlow and Graeme Pollock's monumental 341-run effort in South Africa-Australia Tests - has put Faf du Plessis' men in a position from where they can dictate the play in the final seven sessions of the Test. The partnership was broken at the stroke of Tea when Duminy edged Peter Siddle to the keeper, much to Australia's relief.
Australia were put to the sword in a thoroughly dominating batting performance under pristine conditions. Duminy gave an inkling of things to come in the post-lunch session when he displayed his infatuation for the cover boundary at the WACA by hitting four boundaries - two each of Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood - in the first two overs of the session to move in to the nineties. Not too long after, the fifth Test hundred came, sparking a celebratory run from a clearly relieved batsman. Duminy had scored a half-century on debut at this very venue eight years ago, prompting several pundits to envision a bright Test career ahead for the southpaw. But he'd since frittered away in the long format. This hundred - a heady mix of caution and aggression - only chose to reaffirm the original belief.
There was a precious little something for Elgar too. He'd bagged a pair at the WACA when South Africa last visited Australian shores. He had Mitchell Starc to thank for his 100. For when on 81, the left-arm pacer dropped a skier running backwards from mid-off after an underbowled Nathan Lyon had deceived Elgar in the flight. The introduction of the second new ball, however, allowed Elgar easy boundaries as Australia's pacers continued to flounder with their overpitched lengths.
The partnership crossed 200, and the overall lead 250, as the duo continued to milk the bowling on a pitch that had flattened considerably despite the emergence of snake-like cracks that only occasionally forced the ball to misbehave. Australia were in serious danger of going two sessions without a wicket before a lazy waft from Duminy in the last over of the session gave Australia some relief. Even that had to come via a DRS referral.
South Africa's lead is nearly 300 and with Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma to follow, they'll now by eyeing a target around 450. The final session on Day 3 could go a long way towards establishing that.
Brief Scores: South Africa 242 & 295/3 (JP Duminy 141, Dean Elgar 112*; Peter Siddle 2-35) lead Australia 244 (David Warner 97, Shaun Marsh 63; Vernon Philander 4-56, Keshav Maharaj 3-56) by 293 runs.