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Lee, Ponting put Australia in command

Written by: Staff

DURBAN, South Africa, Mar 26 (Reuters) Brett Lee and Ricky Ponting put Australia in a commanding position today in the second test against South Africa.

The visitors were 125 for one in their second innings at the close of play, a lead of 227, after South Africa had been bowled out for 267.

Fast bowler Lee passed 200 test wickets on his way to figures of five for 69 while captain Ponting hit seven fours and a six in his 48 not out.

Jacques Kallis anchored South Africa's innings with a gritty 114, his 24th test century.

The home team slumped to 10 for two before Kallis and AB de Villiers shared an unbroken stand of 130 to take them yesterday's close.

But the partnership was ended 12 balls into today's play, de Villiers (50) edging seamer Stuart Clark to Matthew Hayden in the gully.

Kallis and Ashwell Prince added another 56 runs for the fourth wicket before Prince pulled Shane Warne to Andrew Symonds at square leg on 33.

RETURN CATCH Warne struck again after lunch when Jacques Rudolph (13) was adjudged to have prodded a catch to Mike Hussey at short leg.

Kallis was sixth out when he offered a return catch to Clark. He batted for 345 minutes, faced 223 balls and struck 17 fours.

Lee began his assault four overs before tea by having Shaun Pollock caught behind by wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist for one.

South Africa lost their final five wickets for 12 runs in 34 balls, Lee claiming the last four victims including Andre Nel and Makhaya Ntini with consecutive deliveries to end the innings.

Hayden and Justin Langer put on 49 for Australia's first wicket before Langer drove left-arm spinner Nicky Boje to Pollock at long-on on 37.

Ponting and Hayden (35 not out) then shared an undefeated stand of 76 for the second wicket.

Australia are 1-0 up in the series.


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