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Aussies add to Proteas woes in Durban test

AUSTRALIA captain Ricky Ponting became the fourth highest run-scorer in test cricket yesterday as he helped push his side's lead over South Africa in the second test to 417 runs at tea on the third day in Durban.

Australia dismissed the Proteas in the first over of the day on their overnight score of 138, but despite leading by 214 runs did not enforce the follow-on. Opener Simon Katich (30) was the only casualty as the Aussies reached 203-1 at tea.

When he had scored 61 in Australia's second innings, Ponting overtook compatriot Steve Waugh to claim the fourth spot on the all-time list with 10,928 runs in his 130th test. Ahead of him are India's Sachin Tendulkar on 12,429 runs from 156 tests, the West Indies' Brian Lara on 11,953 runs from 131 tests, and former Australia captain Allan Border on 11,174 runs from 156 tests.

Ponting went to tea yesterday on 78 not out, having dominated the middle session. His second-wicket partnership with Phillip Hughes (86 not out) was worth 148 runs, following the 55 put on for the first wicket by Hughes and Katich.

The Australian batsman did not seem troubled batting, after the dramatic action on Saturday when a total of 13 wickets on both sides fell for just 129 runs.

Earlier, Australia needed just three balls to end the South African first innings. Fast bowler Peter Siddle claimed the last two Proteas wickets in the first over of the day.

Siddle induced an edge behind to keeper Brad Haddin from Dale Steyn (8) off the second ball of the morning, and then trapped Makhaya Ntini (0) in front next ball. The not out batsman was J.P. Duminy on 73.

Injured captain Graeme Smith, who suffered a fracture to his right little finger after being hit on the hand by Mitchell Johnson on Saturday, did not come out to bat again.


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