March 12, 2018 / 10:17 AM / 2 years ago

Cricket-Rabada rips through Australia as South Africa close on win

PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa, March 12 (Reuters) - Kagiso Rabada took 11 wickets in the match as South Africa closed on victory over Australia on day four of the second test on Monday, but the fiery pace bowler faces a new charge from the International Cricket Council (ICC).

The home side were 22 for one at lunch chasing a modest victory target of 101 that would level the four-match series at 1-1. Dean Elgar (5) was the only wicket to fall, caught and bowled by Nathan Lyon on the stroke of the interval.

Opener Aiden Markram (17 not out) and Hashim Amla will resume in the afternoon session to drive home the advantage laid by the brilliant Rabada.

The fast bowler grabbed the first three wickets to fall in the morning session to complete figures of 6-54 and a match aggregate of 11-150, the fourth time the 22-year-old has taken 10 or more wickets in a test.

His presence in the remainder of the series remains under threat, however, with match referee Jeff Crowe to announce the outcome of a hearing into a Level Two charge against the seamer after he brushed against Steve Smith after dismissing the Australian captain in the first innings.

If found guilty, Rabada, who has 15 wickets at an average of 16.80 in the series, will miss the final two games after reaching eight demerit points to trigger an automatic suspension.

Rabada was also slapped with a lesser Level One charge on Monday for his exuberant celebrations when he dismissed David Warner in the second innings on Sunday.

Just how much he would be missed was evident as he tore through the Australian middle-order with high-quality fast bowling.

Resuming on 180 for five, the tourists lost Mitchell Marsh (45) in the first over as Rabada uprooted his middle stump, before Pat Cummins (5) was well caught in the gully by Theunis de Bruyne.

Rabada got his third in quick succession as Mitchell Starc (1) edged a drive to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.

Lungi Ngidi (2-24) had Lyon (5) also caught by De Kock, before Tim Paine (28 not out) and Josh Hazlewood (17) added 28 for the final wicket.

The latter picked out Ngidi in the deep as he tried to launch spinner Keshav Maharaj (2-90) to the boundary and the innings ended on 239.

Australia won the first test in Durban by 118 runs. The final two matches in the series will be played in Cape Town and Johannesburg. (Reporting by Nick Said, Editing by Ed Osmond)

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