Amla puts tourists in charge

PA Sport
Hashim Amla continued his impressive form against Australia
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Hashim Amla continued his impressive form against Australia

Hashim Amla fell just short of a double-century and AB de Villiers struck a hundred as South Africa continued to dominate on day three of the third Test with Australia in Perth.

Amla scored 196 as he and De Villiers put on 149 for the fourth wicket to drive the Proteas to 467 for five in their second innings by tea at the WACA.

With De Villiers unbeaten on 116 the tourists showed no signs of letting up as they led Australia by 529 runs.

South Africa had taken control of the series decider on day two and closed at 230 for two, 292 runs in front. By lunch on day three that lead had been lifted to 382, with Amla serene on 149 not out and Jacques Kallis the only man out in a total of 320 for three.

Amla started the morning on 99 but showed no hint of nerves as he tapped the third ball for a single to register his 18th Test century. A first boundary of the day followed in Mitchell Johnson's second over, driven wide of mid-off by Amla, who offered a tough chance on 108 when he hit a woeful Johnson full-toss hard towards gully.

Michael Hussey got a hand to it but could not cling on and instead Amla picked up his second four in as many balls. John Hastings was holding it together slightly better at the other end but Amla was starting to show signs of improvisation, wandering outside off stump and whipping through mid-wicket to negate defensive lines.

Kallis, batting within himself, hit his first four of the day off Hastings in the 10th over and Amla continued to pepper the ropes, passing 1,000 runs for 2012 with another boundary. Kallis eventually departed for 37 in 65 balls, top-edging a Mitchell Starc bouncer to Johnson at fine leg.

Amla's innings was unaffected and De Villiers offered solid support to accompany him to lunch, grinding out 18 runs in the process. By the break Amla had scored 149. He went on to make 196, including 21 fours, before Johnson claimed a difficult caught and bowled chance.

The unfortunate Dean Elgar bagged a pair of ducks on debut as he was trapped lbw by Johnson fourth ball. But that was the last joy for the home side in the session as De Villiers took over where Amla left off, his unbeaten 116 featuring 17 fours and one six.

With Faf du Plessis not out on two South Africa showed little intention of letting up on the beleaguered home side. Australia finally ended the South Africa innings on 569 as Starc and Johnson shared out the wickets. But that was little comfort for the home crowd as it left Australia facing a record victory target of 632.

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