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Four-wicket Ntini rips through Australia

Written by: Staff

JOHANNESBURG, Apr 1 (Reuters) Paceman Makhaya Ntini took four wickets to rip through Australia's top order and lead South Africa's fightback in the third test and final test today.

Australia were 141 for five at tea on the second day in reply to South Africa's first innings of 303, to which Ashwell Prince contributed 93.

Ntini bowled with pace and aggression to take four for 52.

Australia have a 2-0 lead in the series.

South Africa added 65 to their overnight score of 238 for six before they were dismissed in the 19th over of the day.

Prince batted for 248 minutes in which he faced 170 balls and hit 11 fours. He was out playing a flatfooted drive against fast bowler Brett Lee and was caught by Justin Langer at second slip.

South Africa reached 300 largely through the efforts of number nine Nicky Boje who clipped 43 off 46 balls and hit nine fours.

The innings ended when Boje fended a rising delivery from fast bowler Michael Kasprowicz to Langer in the gully.

Lee took three for 57, while fast bowler Stuart Clark claimed three for 81.

Ntini hit Langer on the helmet with the first ball of the Australian innings and the left-hander retired hurt.

Langer was diagnosed with concussion, received two stitches to the back of his head, and was taken to hospital for precautionary scans.

In Ntini's next over, Matthew Hayden edged a drive and was well caught by Herschelle Gibbs in the gully.

Ricky Ponting and Damien Martyn responded aggressively and put on 56 off 49 balls for the second wicket.

Ntini ended the partnership when Martyn, on 21, skied a pull to Andre Nel at mid-on.

Four overs later Ponting, who hit five fours and a six in his 34, pushed forward to an Ntini delivery and edged it to AB de Villiers at third slip.

Ntini struck again in his next over when he trapped Symonds in front for four to reduce Australia to 89 for four.

Adam Gilchrist scored 12 before pulling a ball from fast bowler Andre Nel down Jacques Rudolph's throat at deep square leg.

Reuters PDS GC2039

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