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Hussey, Martyn put Australia on top

Written by: Staff
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JOHANNESBURG, Apr 3 (Reuters) Michael Hussey and Damien Martyn shared a century stand to put Australia on top in the third and last test against South Africa today.

Australia, who need 292 to win, were 163 for two in their second innings at tea on the fourth day.

Hussey was 72 not out with Martyn on 69 in a partnership of 130 for the unbroken third wicket.

Hussey was promoted to the top of the order from number five after regular opener 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.

South Africa were dismissed for 303 in their first innings to which Australia replied with 270.

The home side resumed their second innings on 250 for eight, and Australia needed just 15 balls to dismiss them for 258.

Mark Boucher survived a chance to the fifth ball of the day when he attempted to pull a delivery from fast bowler Brett Lee and was dropped by wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist.

Boucher played a similar stroke to the first ball of Lee's next over, and this time Gilchrist held the catch to end a ninth-wicket stand of 64 Boucher shared with Andre Nel.

Boucher hit nine fours in his 63.

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

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

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

Steady batting by Hussey and Martyn then took the game away from South Africa, who were hampered by the fact that fast bowler Nel bowled just two overs before leaving the field with an upset stomach.

Australia lead the three-match series 2-0.

REUTERS DH HT1938

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