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Australia rams home the advantage

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DELIGHTFUL DEBUT: Australia’s Marcus North celebrates after reaching his century.
DELIGHTFUL DEBUT: Australia’s Marcus North celebrates after reaching his century.

Century by North; 10,000 Test runs for Kallis

JOHANNESBURG: Australia batted to a dominant position with a first-innings total of 466 in the first Test against South Africa on Friday, and then took two South African wickets in four balls to ram home the advantage.

South Africa recovered some composure by reaching 85 for three at the close of the second day, but on two for 2 and with captain Graeme Smith out for a duck, it was in dire straits at the start of its innings.

In the first over, Mitchell Johnson had Smith caught behind when he found the outside edge of the skipper’s bat. Three balls later Hashim Amla (one) was caught in the slips by Australia captain Ricky Ponting off debutant Ben Hilfenhaus’ second ball of the match.

Veteran South Africa batsman Jacques Kallis then became the eighth player to reach 10,000 Test runs when he got to 12, but he edged a catch to Michael Hussey in the gully on 27, with the score on 49.

South Africa faces an uphill battle to get back into the match and will need to be as patient as Australia was after its initial first-innings hiccup.

Earlier on the second day, debutant Marcus North hit a powerful 117 to help guide Australia to an imposing 466 all out at tea. North and No. 9 batsman Johnson, who thrashed 96 not out off 131 balls including 10 fours and five sixes, added 117 for the eighth wicket.

The Australia duo had taken the total to 413 when North, who hit a dozen fours, was beaten by spinner Paul Harris and stumped by Mark Boucher.

However, Johnson fell four runs short of a maiden Test century as he watched partners Peter Siddle (9) and Hilfenhaus (0) caught in the slips off successive balls from Morne Morkel to bring the innings to a close.

SCOREBOARD

Australia — 1st innings: P. Hughes c Boucher b Steyn 0, S. Katich c McKenzie b Steyn 3, R. Ponting b Ntini 83, M. Hussey c Kallis b Morkel 4, M. Clarke c Boucher b Steyn 68, M. North st Boucher b Harris 117, B. Haddin c Harris b Ntini 63, A. McDonald c Kallis b Steyn 0, M. Johnson (not out) 96, P. Siddle c Kallis b Morkel 9, B. Hilfenhaus c de Villiers b Morkel 0; Extras: (b-6, lb-8, w-2, nb-7) 23; Total: (in 125.4 overs) 466.

Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-18, 3-38, 4-151, 5-182, 6-295, 7-296, 8-413, 9-466.

South Africa bowling: Steyn 30-4-112-4, Ntini 27-6-71-2, Morne 28.4-3-117-3, Kallis 8-0-33-0, Harris 18-2-64-1, Duminy 14-2-54-0.

South Africa — 1st innings: G. Smith c Haddin b Johnson 0, N. McKenzie (batting) 35, H. Amla c Ponting b Hilfenhaus 1, J. Kallis c Hussey b Siddle 27, AB de Villiers (batting) 13; Extras: (b-4, lb-4, nb-1) 9; Total: (for three wickets, in 37 overs) 85.

Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-2, 3-49.

Australia bowling: Johnson 9-5-8-1, Hilfenhaus 10-5-14-1, Siddle 9-1-39-1, McDonald 7-3-11-0, North 2-0-5-0. — AP

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