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Australia in driver's seat: Cummins

Teenage fast bowler Pat Cummins took six wickets on debut and said Australia were favourites to win after the fourth day of the second and final Test against South Africa at the Wanderers Stadium yesterday.


Patrick Cummins took 6-79 on Test debut yesterday. Pic/AFP

A century partnership between Usman Khawaja (65) and Ricky Ponting (54 not out) enabled Australia to reach 142 for three at the close, 168 runs short of achieving the highest successful run chase at the Wanderers.

Khawaja was caught at slip off leg-spinner Imran Tahir one ball before bad light ended play after he and Ponting had put on 122 for the third wicket.

Cummins took six for 79 and was mainly responsible for South Africa being bowled out for 339, leaving Australia with 310 to win. Hashim Amla top-scored for South Africa with 105.

"Today's been great for us and we've got ourselves in the box seat," said Cummins, who at 18 became the youngest cricketer to take five or more wickets on Test debut. "Ricky is looking pretty settled so it's a very exciting set-up."

Amla, though, felt that South Africa were slight favourites. "The wicket is not easy to bat on and certain times it seems to act up more than others. It seems to be a bit more lively in the mornings. If we can pick up early wickets we can put a lot of pressure on Australia."

Cummins said he had cut down on his pace slightly on Sunday because the ball was swinging during the morning.

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