Australia needs 13 wickets to seal a famous 3-0 series win, and it is not out of the question at all – with the world class trio of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon bowling superbly late on Saturday.

And the best bit for Sydney sports fans?

It’s a gold coin donation entry. So for $2 (or $1, I suppose) you can watch some of the greatest cricketers on the planet chase a victory that seemed impossible after nearly two days of play were lost to run.

11.10AM: HEAD BOWLING GRENADES, CATCHES GOING DOWN

Travis Head alomst has a second – and he has Simon Harper in all sorts.

Harmer whips an impossible chance to Marnus Labuschagne at bat-pad – hitting him on the fleshy part of his right hand, up onto the thigh and almost giving him enough time to recover.

It would’ve been an all-time catch, but no dice.

The very next ball, Head beats the bat and it looked like there could’ve been the faintest of tickles on snicko, but Alex Carey can’t hold onto it.

Head has turned into a major gamechanger here – and he almost snaffles a return catch off Keshav Maharaj.

He gets a hand to a sharp drive, but it bursts through his hands.

That’s three chances – all in the ‘fairly tough’ category of chances, at least – that have gone down in the past two Travis Head overs.

10.57AM: WICKET! HEAD GETS THE BREAKTHROUGH!

Pat Cummins has the midas touch again – after a flat morning, he turns to Travis Head and the part-timer delivers immediately.

In his first over, Head removes Marco Jansen with a skiddy delivery that takes a faint touch and is well caught by Alex Carey.

Jansen goes for 11, soaking up an impressive 78 balls. Could that breathe a bit of life into the Australian attack? Six overs to go before the new ball.

South Africa are 7-167. 13 wickets to go for Australia, today.

10.30AM: THE CRUCIAL NUMBERS AUSTRALIA MUST ZERO IN ON

A quiet start to the morning. Some desperate shouts from the crowd, both in the stands and the crowd around the bat, from some narrorw misses off Nathan Lyon’s bowling.

Lyon started today at the Randwick End, where he’s likely to operate for much of the day you’d imagine. Pat Cummins started at the Paddington/Members’ End, but has just been replaced by Josh Hazlewood.

Those two will be rotated regularly today in a bid to keep them fresh, despite Hazlewood’s willingness to bowl himself into the ground for the final time this summer.

There are two numbers Australia needs to have on its mind: the first is 4, the number of wickets they need to end South Africa’s first innings.

The second is 275 – if South Africa passes that, and Australia are required to bat again, it would almost certainly kill off the game.

But at 6-160, it’s slow going on all fronts right now.

However South Africa are approaching their longest innings of the tour – 67 overs down. They made it to the 69th over twice at the MCG.

10AM: BRUTAL HISTORY FACING AUSTRALIA IN VICTORY HUNT

Play is underway at the SCG – a decent smattering of fans are in already this morning, taking advantage of the gold-coin donation entry fee.

It promises to be a memorable day if Australia can pull off an unlikely victory and take 14 wickets on Day 5.

But can they do it? There are signs that point to both yes and no.

Recent history at the SCG would suggest… probably not. Australia has been in this position before, and been close to victory coming into the final day, only to fall agonisingly short.

Think England last year. And India two years ago.

However this South African team is not Engand – and certainly not India 2021.

On balance, Australia have just enough overs in their locker today to get the job done against Proteas batting ineup that hasn’t come close to batting out a day this summer.

9.30AM: SUMMER’S BIGGEST BARGAIN

Don’t look now, but it is officially SUNNY at the SCG. It looks an absolute peach of a day, with 98 overs to be bowled and a fascinating day of cricket upcoming.

Australia needs 14 wickets to seal a famous 3-0 series win, and it is not out of the question at all – with the world class trio of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon bowling superbly late on Saturday.

And the best bit for Sydney sports fans?

It’s a gold coin donation entry. So for $2 (or $1, I suppose) you can watch some of the greatest cricketers on the planet chase a victory that seemed impossible after nearly two days of play were lost to run.

We’ll take you through every bit of the rollercoaster today, where South Africa resume on 6-149 with Simon Harmer on 6 and Marco Jansen on 10.

BIASED RULE THAT DENIED SMITH CLASSIC CATCH

– BY DAANYAL SAEED

Josh Hazlewood has called for cricket to abolish the ‘soft signal’ which is causing mass confusion and controversy after two hairline third Test decisions.

Hazlewood enticed South African captain Dean Elgar to edge to second slip early in the Proteas’ first innings, with Steve Smith diving low to his right and cradling the ball with fingers touching the turf.

With the SCG crowd breaking into rapturous applause, Smith’s reaction said he wasn’t convinced at all.

The incident was a replica of Simon Harmer’s effort in the first innings off Marnus Labuschagne.

Hazlewood said he considered both were fair catches, yet both were given not out, with Kettleborough backing the on-field ‘soft signal’ to deny Smith what would have been one of his greatest catches ever.

“I think you should probably take the soft call completely out of it,” said the 31-year-old Hazlewood.

“Obviously the two umpires aren’t sure on the field and I guess they should just go straight to the third umpire when they’re uncertain – you make the call.

“They’re sort of biased by that decision on-field and can’t find a lot to overturn it.”

Despite Smith’s fingers clearly nestling underneath the ball and the 33-year-old rolling upwards and away from the turf, spectators at the Sydney Cricket Ground were convinced he had taken a clean catch.

Front-on camera angles appeared as though the ball had kissed the turf whilst in Smith’s grasp at the apex of the dive, using the ground to stabilise the ball in his hand.

Former New Zealand wicketkeeper Ian Smith said on Fox Cricket he considered it a fair catch, but former ICC Umpire of the Year Simon Taufel said he thought the correct decision had been made.

“When the fielder first touches the ball, they have to have complete control over the ball and their movement, and the ball can not touch the ground,” he explained.

“I’m very happy Richard (Kettleborough) has made that call.”

Taufel made a point of noting the soft signal process, which doesn’t require a third umpire to have conclusive evidence to overturn, in contrast to being required to do so for an on-field decision.

“We must remember this soft signal process has been tweaked a little bit. This decision was entirely in the hands of the third umpire.”

It would prove to not cost the Australians too dearly, with Elgar gloving a catch off Hazlewood moments later and departing for 15, having only added nine runs to his tally.

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Originally published as 3rd Test Australia v South Africa: Follow all the day five action from the SCG

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