Australia staring down the barrel in Perth
Australia faces the ignominy of losing the opening Test of the summer for the first time in 28 years after South Africa set the hosts a record 539 runs to win at the WACA. Australia were 169-4 at stumps on day four with Usman Khawaja on 58 not out and Mitchell Marsh 15 not out. The home side need a further 370 runs in a minimum of 90 overs on the last day for the highest successful run-chase in Test history. South Africa declared on 540-8, leaving Australia at least 143 overs in four sessions to post the highest ever fourth-innings score to win and take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Australia haven’t lost the first home Test since losing to the West Indies at the Gabba in 1988. The highest successful run-chase belongs to the West Indies when Brian Lara’s side chased 417 against Australia and won by three wickets in Antigua in May 2003. Australia’s last Test against South Africa at the WACA ended in a 309-run loss for the home team after being set 632 to win. They were all out in 82.5 overs in that innings. Victory looks unlikely for Australia as the highest fourth innings total at the venue is only 414.