Carey piles on South Africa’s agony with maiden Test ton

by Staff  •  Last updated on Wed, Dec 28, 2022, 09:44 PM

Australia began the second session on Day 3 seven down but if South Africa thought their first-innings ordeal was done they were in for a rude shock. Alex Carey scored his maiden Test century and in the company of an injured Cameron Green put on 117 for the eighth wicket before the hosts declared at 575/8 for a lead of 386.

The MCG pitch continued to play flat and the pair of Carey and Green ensured they effectively batted their visitors out of the game. Dean Elgar began the post-Lucnh period bowling the spinner Keshav Maharaj from one end while the seamers took turns to try their luck from the other, beginning with Kagiso Rabada. Carey, who delighted with his driving in the opening session, scored the bulk of his runs square of the wicket in the second. Maharaj was reverse-swept while the short-pitched balls from the quicks were pulled or upper-cut occasionally fortuitously.

Eventually, it was a push drive through extra cover for three that took Carey to his maiden Test century. It made him only the second Australian keeper-bat to score a Boxing Day Test hundred after Rod Marsh. He was eventually dismissed for 111 after a half-hearted attempt to play a belated pull bobbed the ball back to Marco Jansen for a simple return catch. The MCG crowd though had one more reason to break into applause soon enough as Green gutsed his way to a 170-ball half-century despite being ruled out of the next Test with a finger fracture sustained yesterday.

No.10 Mitchell Starc pulled a six off Anrich Nortje before wearing another short ball on his helmet. It led to a brief stoppage in play owing to the mandatory concussion test and captain Pat Cummins had enough and declared the innings finished to leave his opposition with a mountain to climb.

Brief scores: Australia 575/8 decl. (David Warner 200, Alex Carey 111; Anrich Nortje 3-92) lead South Africa 189 by 386 runs.

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