There was no let up of bad news for Australia as it was confirmed new captain Tim Paine sustained a broken thumb in the final test against South Africa. Wicket-keeper Paine sustained the injury while keeping on day 2 on Saturday. He batted through the pain and was 5 not out overnight as Australia struggled to save the game. Australia started day 3 on 110/6, 378 runs behind South Africa's 488 and facing a big challenge to avoid an innings defeat in the series decider.
The newly-appointed Aussie captain showed some fight in tough circumstances before a crucial breakthrough for South Africa in the final Test on Sunday. Fighting to win back some pride after the team's ball-tampering scandal, Paine and Cummins resisted with a 99-run partnership for the seventh wicket that earned the Australians a little respect after they were 110-6 and reeling overnight.
Paine is captaining Australia after former skipper Steve Smith was banned for 12 months and sent home from the tour of South Africa for his role in a ball-tampering scandal in the third Test in Cape Town last weekend.
Vice-captain David Warner and batsman Cameron Bancroft were also sent home in disgrace and banned long-term for being part of the plot to cheat. Smith and Warner were banned from international cricket for a year and Bancroft for nine months.
Cricket Australia appointed Paine, with the task of bringing together a team with its morale in pieces. On day 3, the right-handed batsman scored a crucial 62 that included 7 boundaries and two maximums to keep the hosts at bay in the first session.
South Africa lead the Test series 2-1 and Australia, amid the ball-tampering fallout, faces losing its first test series in South Africa since 1970.
The hosts also had an injury complication, with fast bowler Morne Morkel picking up a left side strain. He left the field in the first session on Sunday to get treatment and some strapping, but returned and would try and "push on" for the rest of his farewell game, the South Africa team said.
(With AP Inputs)