Proteas tighten grip, Australia fight back on Day 3 of Hobart Test

Hobart [Australia], Nov.14 : Usman Khawaja struck half-century as Australia dug in to reach 121 for two in their second innings against South Africa before bad light ended the third day's play of the second Test at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart on Monday.

After losing opener Joe Burns for a duck, David Warner (45) joined forces with Khawaja (56*) and stitched a 79-run stand for the second wicket to provide their side with some ray of hope and avoid a probable series loss in the second Test itself.

At stumps, Australia were still trailing by 120 runs, with Khawaja and skipper Steve Smith (unbeaten at 18) batting at the crease.

Earlier, resuming at an overnight score of 171-5, Temba Bavuma (74) and Quinton de Kock (104) continued to strengthen their side's innings as the duo shared a 144-run partnership for sixth wicket to take the first innings' lead of 241 runs after being bowled out for 326.

Josh Hazlewood grabbed six wickets while Mitchell Starc and Joe Mennie scalped three and two wickets respectively.

Earlier on Day One, Vernon Philander (5 for 21) wrecked havoc as he along with Kyle Abbott (3 for 41) and Kagiso Rabada (one for 20) helped the Proteas bundle out the Steven Smith led-side for a paltry 85.

The second day's play was whitewashed without a ball being bowled. South Africa, who currently remain well-placed to clinch the series victory in Hobart, are currently leading the three-match Test series 1-0 following their massive 177-run win over the Smith-led side in the opening match in Perth.

Source: ANI