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Johnson has Proteas in dire straits

MITCHELL Johnson claimed three wickets and forced two more batsmen to retire hurt yesterday as Australia led South Africa by 290 runs at tea on the second day of the second test in Durban.

Johnson had figures of 3-15 - including taking two wickets in the first over of the innings and one with the final ball before tea - as the South Africans limped to 62-4 at the break in reply to Australia's 352.

Making the situation worse for the Proteas was captain Graeme Smith (2) and Jacques Kallis (22) having to retire hurt after being hit by Johnson. Smith had the little finger on his right hand broken by the left-arm quick, who later hit Kallis on the chin with a bouncer.

A bleeding Kallis was attended to on the field but left to be replaced by Mark Boucher, who was yorked by Johnson off the last ball of the session for 1. Smith is not expected to bat again in the innings, and could be out of action for two to three wickets.

Johnson had Neil McKenzie caught by wicketkeeper Brad Haddin for 0 on the third delivery of the innings. Two balls later, Johnson trapped Hashim Amla leg before wicket in a decision that was upheld after being referred to the TV umpire to leave the hosts on 0-2.

After an injured Smith left the pitch for X-rays, A.B. de Villiers fell lbw to Ben Hilfenhaus for 3 in the sixth over to make it 6-3.

J.P. Duminy hit 28 not out to add a half-century stand with Kallis before the latter also had to leave the field for treatment.

Earlier, the South Africans took six wickets for 49 runs to bowl out Australia for 352 just after lunch at Kingsmead.

Fast bowlers Dale Steyn and Makhaya Ntini claimed two wickets each with Morne Morkel and Kallis taking one apiece to get South Africa back into the match after Australia had resumed on 303-4.

Australia leads 1-0 in the three-match series.


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