Australia left frustrated as South Africa cling on for SCG draw

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Australia were left frustrated as they ran out of time chasing victory in the rain-affected third Test against South Africa at the SCG, which ended as a draw on Sunday.

The hosts needed 14 wickets on the final day to secure victory and a clean sweep of the three-game Test series, but were denied despite bowling out the Proteas and enforcing the follow-on.

South Africa finished 106-2 in their second innings, having been bowled out for 255 shortly before tea. Australia needed nine wickets in the final session but eventually opted to shake hands with five overs left.

Pat Cummins' side were left frustrated after a series of unsuccessful reviews including several LBW appeals from Nathan Lyon which reverted to the umpires' call.

Steve Smith was also denied a crucial catch by the third umpire for the second time in the match, when Heinrich Klaasen edged to first slip off a frustrated Lyon in the second innings. Lyon bowled 40 first-innings overs, taking 2-88 before toiling away for 0-32 from 15 overs in the second innings.

South Africa will be content to have shown some final-day fight after a lopsided series with Sarel Erwee (42no) and Temba Bavuma (17no) unbeaten.

The tourists had resumed at 149-6 with Marco Jansen dismissed early, caught behind off Travis Head, but Simon Harmer (47) and Keshav Maharaj (53) teamed up for a gritty 85-run eighth-wicket partnership that halted Australia's push for victory.

Australia had their chances, most notably when Head dropped a caught-and-bowled chance from Maharaj, who lasted almost two hours alongside Harmer.

Maharaj eventually fell LBW to Josh Hazlewood, who also claimed the wicket of Harmer after Lyon had two reviews denied against him on 47. Hazlewood finished with 4-48 in the first innings on his return from a side strain.

After enforcing the follow-on, Cummins gave Australia hope when he had opposition skipper Dean Elgar caught behind by Alex Carey down leg side for 10, but the Proteas were stubborn enough to see out the draw.

Khawaja gets his reward

Usman Khawaja was denied a shot at a maiden Test double hundred, rooted on 195no, when Cummins declared on the fourth day pursing victory after day three was lost to rain but he was named Player of the Match.

Khawaja had a lean two Tests before his big knock, managing only 14 runs in his previous three innings against the Proteas. Coincidentally, David Warner was named Player of the Series after his double century at the MCG Test, yet he otherwise only scored 13 more runs in three other knocks.

Elgar struggles as skipper

Elgar endured a lean tour with his cheap dismissal down leg side in the second innings underlining his struggles since taking over as South Africa skipper in March 2021 from Quinton de Kock. The opener managed only 56 runs in six innings this series.