Today cricket match report: AUS vs SA, Day 3 of Test 1: Nortje’s double leaves Australia 147-2 on a rainy day

Nortje was the star of the Proteas, beating out Warner cheaply with a 10, while Labuschagne (79) denied his 11th Test 100 later in the day.

South African strike bowler Henrich Nolce won important wickets from David Warner and Marnus Labuchagne on Wednesday to secure Australia’s grip in the Third Test in Sydney.

Nortje was the star of his Proteas, dismissing Warner cheaply with a 10, while Labuschagne (79) denied her 11th Test 100 later in the day.

Australia are 147 to 2 as the first day ended early due to lack of sunshine and rain, while Sydney are averaging 98 in the Tests.

Nortje made a big break on the ripper, grabbing the edge of Labuschagne’s racket and knocking him down, ending his 151-ball stay. The pacemaker struck out in the second over of the day when he caught Centurion Warner’s double at 10 in Marco Jansen’s Melbourne Test.

Shortly after Smith arrived at the wicket after Labuschagne was sacked, poor lighting was the last player to leave the field.

It is the sixth of the last seven tests in Sydney to have been affected by rain.

There was controversy early in the innings for Labuschagne when he slipped Jansen for 70 to Hamer.

The field umpire overruled the decision with a soft signal off, only for third umpire Richard Kettleborough to rule that the ball touched the ground between Hamer’s fingers.

Khawaja also survived a review straight after lunch on 25 as he reverse-swept Harmer and was given out leg before wicket, but replays showed the ball touching the glove.

The opening day was also marked by Matt Renshaw, recalled for his first Test for Australia since April 2018, returning a positive Covid-19 test after the toss was taken and the team composition confirmed.

But team officials said he would continue to play in the match with his symptoms only described as mild.

Renshaw was transferred to a separate dressing room from his teammates where he will prepare for the rest of the match, and spent most of play sitting away from the team runners near the Australian dug-out.

Skipper Pat Cummins won his fifth successive toss and decided to play an extra spinner with left-armer Ashton Agar, and Renshaw coming in to bolster the batting, squeezing out in-form paceman Scott Boland on a dry cracking Sydney Cricket Ground pitch. South Africa did similarly, with off-spinner Hamer overtaking Lungi Ngidi and Heinrich Klaasen overtaking Teunis de Bruin for third.

Without a clean win in the series, Australia will be looking to reach the final of her ICC World Test Championships in London in June. Proteas still have their chances from the outside, but they need to upset Sydney first.

The Australian has already completed a three-match winning streak after beating the Proteas by an innings and 182 runs in Melbourne after suffering a six-wicket loss in two days in Brisbane.

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