South Africa edge ahead at Newlands

Two Cricket South Africa officials were then disciplined when they posed with fans wearing Sonny Bill Williams masks - a taunt directed at the Warners - at the game in Port Elizabeth.

The tourists will resume at 9-245 on day three, trailing the hosts by 66 runs.

Warner sliced the next delivery for another four, but was out the ball after when Rabada tightened his line and smashed the off stump out the ground.

But the wickets and runs of the day were somewhat overshadowed by the events of the middle session, when the TV cameras appeared to show Bancroft holding a foreign object while working on the ball, and shortly afterwards he seemed to deposit the item down his pants.

The morning had started with Australia nine down and 66 runs in arrears, hoping to close the first-innings gap as much as possible, but they could add only 10 runs before Kagiso Rabada had Josh Hazlewood caught at slip to end the innings on 255. "She's just gone to the toilet for a minute", while abuse of other players and their partners ramped up.

David Warner hasn't been able to escape the controversial spotlight since this series has started and he was in the thick of it again on day two.

Lehmann confirmed that the abuse by the fan toward Warner as he left the field was "personal and it was poor and he wasn't the only one".

In Durban he was captured on CCTV cameras exchanging words with Quinton de Kock, then responding angrily to the response from the South African wicketkeeper and needing to be physically restrained by team-mates as he climbed the stairwell at Kingsmead.

The man taunted and hurled abuse at Warner as he walked past the member's pavilion.

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Australia's security manager, Frank Dimasi, subsequently made his way down to the area and spoke with both the security guard and the spectator. This is likely to be the day when the contest in both categories swung decisively in South Africa's favour.

A tantalising series has often played second fiddle to the constant string of controversies and the latest involving Warner threatened to steal more shine.

"You are talking about abuse of various players and their families and personal abuse", said Lehmann.

Elgar had earlier carried his bat for 141 (284 balls, 20 fours and a six) to join the West Indies Great, Desmond Haynes, as the only player to do this on three occasions.

Rabada was also in the midst of it for the second wicket to fall, taking the catch at backward square leg that dismissed Usman Khawaja off Morkel.

Four balls later, the spinner repeated the dismissal as Morkel (4) was also gobbled up by Smith, a fifth catch of the innings for the Australian to equal the most ever in test history, one of 11 outfield players to achieve the feat.

After starting his Test career with a pair of ducks in 2012, against Australia, Elgar has grown into one of South Africa's batting stalwarts.

It's far from a good situation to be in but better than Steve Smith could have hoped for when the Australians were 8-175, still 136 runs behind South Africa's first innings total of 311.

  • Tabitha Byrd