6 Jan 2009

Smith out as Australia rally in Sydney

2:07 pm on 6 January 2009

The South African cricket captain Graeme Smith has been ruled out for six weeks after breaking a bone in his hand during Sunday's play in the third cricket Test against Australia in Sydney.

The opening batsman retired hurt for 30 after being hit by a Mitchell Johnson delivery.

The Proteas media manager Michael Owen Smith says Smith expects to be back in time for the home series against Australia next month.

South Africa will resume today on 1-125 chasing Australia's first innings totoal of 445.

Australia's first innings of 445 has them back on top after conceding the advantage on day one, thanks largely to the home side's tail wagging furiously with the last four pairs adding 208 runs.

Stand in captain Paul Harris, who joked he was happy to put his hand up to be acting captain in Smith's absence in Australia's second innings, declared all well in the South African camp despite the captain's demise.

Australia were bowled out for 445 midway through Sunday after Michael Clarke top-scored with 138, his 10th century and first at the SCG.

Clarke shared a 142-seventh wicket stand with Mitchell Johnson, who made a career-best 64.

Paceman Dale Steyn (3-95) and spinner Harris (3-84) took three wickets each for the Proteas.