Alex Carey led Australia’s batting dominance on Day 3 of the ongoing Boxing Day Test against South Africa to keep the hosts in the driver’s seat. The wicketkeeper-batter smashed his maiden century in the longest format and took the Aussies to a massive total.
Carey formed a stunning 117 runs partnership with Cameron Green, who, despite a fractured finger, scored an unbeaten 51 as the hosts declared their first innings on 575/8. Carey made 111 as Australia went on to add 189 runs in 54 overs on an overcast day.
The tourists, who were packed for a mere 189 in their first innings, began their second essay with a monumental 386-run trail but yet again had a terrible start. They lost captain Dean Elgar for a duck in the seven overs of play before showers forced early stumps on Day 3 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Elgar continued his rough patch and gloved Pat Cummins down the leg side off the third ball he faced. The edge did die on Carey, but replays showed the keeper took a clean catch to send Elgar back into the hut without troubling the scorers. Though, Australia could have done more damage when Cummins found Theunis de Bruyn‘s edge in his next over, but David Warner, who was positioned at first slip, could not hold on and dropped the catch.
Earlier in the day, the Proteas came out with all guns blazing and took three wickets in six balls as pacer Anrich Nortje, who was hit by a spidercam on Day 2, sent shockwaves to the Aussie camp.
Nortje cleaned up the well-set Travis Head for 51, and the dismissal of Head brought Warner, who had retired hurt with a cramp after reaching 200 on the second day. However, Warner was dismissed on the very first ball he faced by Nortje. Soon Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi got rid of Cummins and Nathan Lyon, before Carey and Green led Australia’s comeback.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
Stumps is called early on another day that Australia dominated.
Check out the scorecard and highlights below #AUSvSA
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 28, 2022
Alex Carey is the first Australian wicketkeeper in history to score a Boxing Day Test century at the MCG.#AUSvSA
— Nic Savage (@nic_savage1) December 28, 2022
Here's a reminder of Adam Gilchrist's greatness. He has 17 Test centuries.
Alex Carey's ton today was the 15th by all other Australian Test wicketkeepers combined.
— Daniel Cherny (@DanielCherny) December 28, 2022
Only apt that it was Cam Green at the other end when Alex Carey brought up his 1st Test ton. They’ve formed a wonderful bond on & off the field & you could see how Green had his hands raised in celebration even before Carey did before running down the pitch for a bear hug #AusvSA pic.twitter.com/mVaGjOhyHo
— Bharat Sundaresan (@beastieboy07) December 28, 2022
Alex Carey becomes the first Australian keeper to score a Test hundred since 2013.
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) December 28, 2022
Imagine looking up at the MCG scoreboard and seeing 100 alongside your name having committed yourself to cricket after footy wasn’t happening for you. It’s a great sports story Alex Carey.
— Andy Maher (@AndyMaherDFA) December 28, 2022
— Adam White (@White_Adam) December 28, 2022
Get in!!!! So pleased for Alex Carey! Maiden Test ton for the former Aussie Rules young gun. Achieves what his predecessor Tim Paine never did.
Great story – beautiful human. As friendly as they come!
The pool fall will remain my favourite Carey highlight of 2022, however.
— Neroli Meadows (@Neroli_Meadows) December 28, 2022
DAY 3 | STUMPS 🛑
Rain brings an early end to the day.
— Proteas Men (@ProteasMenCSA) December 28, 2022
Test tons at the @MCG by wicketkeepers
— Swamp (@sirswampthing) December 28, 2022
Alex Carey's maiden Test ton. What a knock. #AUSvSA
— Chloe-Amanda Bailey (@ChloeAmandaB) December 28, 2022