Australia take full control of Melbourne Test after Carey ton against South Africa

Hosts take 386-run lead after wicketkeeper's century and Warner's double ton

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Australia took complete control of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne as Alex Carey struck his first century, against South Africa on Wednesday.

The home team declared on 575-8 on day three for a staggering lead of 386, having dismissed the Proteas for 189 in the first innings.

Wicketkeeper Carey, who was playing his 14th Test, made 111 from 149 balls, with his knock ending when he was caught and bowled by Marco Jansen.

The innings, however, belonged to opener David Warner who scored an incredible 200 from just 255 balls before he was bowled by fast bowler Anrich Nortje.

Nortje bowled particularly quickly, with Warner later stating that it was the quickest spell he had ever faced in Test cricket.

Australia began on 386-3 with Travis Head on 48 and Carey on nine after a herculean double century from Warner in his 100th Test in gruelling heat on day two. The opener retired with severe cramp after making his third Test double ton, but he returned to the crease when Head was out for 51.

He told host broadcaster Fox before play began that he had a "rough night's sleep".

Carey's maiden Test century for Australia included 13 boundaries. Carey was given good support by Cameron Green (51 not out), who showed admirable composure against the short ball despite nursing a broken finger. They two shared a century stand for the eighth wicket.

“I probably came out at a good moment when the bowlers were probably pretty tired,” Carey said.

He said it was a special moment to have his good friend Green at the crease when he reached three figures.

“To see him throw his arms out meant a lot to me. We’ve formed a really good relationship on the field but also off the field,” Carey said. “It was huge courage from him.”

In reply, the Proteas reached 15-1. South Africa captain Dean Elgar was caught behind for a duck off the bowling of his counterpart Pat Cummins, continuing a dismal series.

Opener Sarel Erwee was seven not out and Theunis de Bruyn was on six, the latter having been dropped by Warner in the slips off Cummins.

Updated: December 28, 2022, 9:41 AM
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