Proteas to focus on cricket in final test

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The Australian fightback was launched by Pat Cummins who has been consistently their best bowler and their leading wicket-taker when he dismissed Markram and du Plessis with successive balls. "For us, it was to show we want to be super competitive but we also want to be respectful of the opposition". "It was a great gesture and it meant a lot". "He's bowled some spells this series that have been as good as any bowler has bowled for Australia". Sayers was hugged by every member of the squad.

Joe Burns, the opening batsmen, and Matt Renshaw were out for four and eight respectively while Peter Handscomb was out first ball for nought to leave Australia 38 for three.

The tourists, reeling from their ball-tampering scandal and led by new captain Tim Paine, had to endure chants of "where is Warner?" and "where is your captain?" from sections of the 17,023 home support at the Wanderers as a reminder of the bans handed to captain Steve Smith, his deputy David Warner and Cameron Bancroft. The biggest problems for Australia were purely cricket-related.

Bavuma, 25 not out overnight, made just one run in the first hour of play on the second day as he struggled in initially overcast conditions in Johannesburg.

A 3-1 series defeat, their first in South Africa since the end of apartheid, now seems inevitable, although given the events of the past week it is really a side issue.

Australia toiled in the field, but Josh Hazlewood, Cummins and Sayers couldn't make further inroads before lunch as the Proteas reached the interval on 88/1, with Markram reaching a fourth Test half-century in 90 balls. De Villiers appealed the decision which was unsuccessful.

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With South Africa 247-2, Australia were in danger of further humiliation.

However, Australia fought back during the extended closing session with some late wickets - including that of Proteas captain Faf du Plessis for a golden duck and AB de Villiers out for a battling 68 - to earn a much-needed uplift in confidence as the hosts finished 313 for six.

Sayers, Handscomb and Renshaw all took catches.

"I am here today to accept my responsibility for my part and my involvement for what happened in Cape Town", Warner said.

After a build-up dominated by the Australian ball-tampering scandal, Markram's brilliant innings forced the focus to turn back towards cricket. Australia's cricket reputation was torn apart as details emerged of the three players' plot to cheat by roughing up the ball with a piece of sandpaper hidden in a pocket, and their lying to cover up some of the details.

Bavuma feels that it would be impossible for Australia not to have been affected by the week they endured.