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Australia lose two quick wickets in pursuit of 292

Written by: Staff

JOHANNESBURG, Apr 3 (Reuters) South Africa took a couple of quick wickets to dent Australia's pursuit of the 292 runs they need for victory in the third test in Johannesburg today, the visitors reaching fourth day lunch on 54 for two wickets.

At the interval, makeshift opener Mike Hussey was 19 not out with Damien Martyn on 13.

Hussey was promoted to the top of the order from number five after Justin Langer was concussed by a bouncer from fast bowler Makhaya Ntini in the first innings.

Australian media manager Philip Pope told reporters Langer's condition had improved, but that he had remained at the team hotel and would arrive at the ground later in the day.

Trailing 2-0 in the three-match series, South Africa were dismissed for 303 in their first innings, good enough for a 33-run lead after they bowled Australia out for 270.

The home side had looked in big trouble on Sunday but Mark Boucher helped lead a recovery and they resumed their second innings on 250-8, but could only add a further eight runs to the total in a little over two overs.

Boucher, who hit nine fours in a battling 63, was first to go, edging to wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist off the bowling of paceman Brett Lee, ending a ninth-wicket stand of 64 with Andre Nel.

The innings ended when Lee bowled Ntini for a second-ball duck to finish with 3-57.

Nel was stranded on 18 not out, equalling his career-best score which he made in the first test of the series in Cape Town.

Australia lost their first wicket in their second innings without a run on the board, when Matthew Hayden edged a drive off fast bowler Ntini to AB de Villiers at third slip.

Hussey and Ricky Ponting put on 33 runs for the second wicket before fast bowler Jacques Kallis found the inside edge of Ponting's bat and was caught by wicketkeeper Boucher for 20.

Fast bowler Nel bowled just two overs before leaving the field because of an upset stomach.

Reuters DH BD1704

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