No let up for Australia as new captain Paine breaks thumb

Australia's captain Tim Paine, right, receives treatment from a team medic after being hit by the ball on his right thumb on day three of the fourth cricket test match between South Africa and Australia at the Wanderers stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Saturday, March 31, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

JOHANNESBURG (AP) There was no let up of bad news for Australia as it was confirmed new captain Tim Paine sustained a broken thumb in the final test against South Africa.

Wicketkeeper Paine sustained the injury while keeping on Day 2 on Saturday. He batted through the pain and was 5 not out overnight as Australia struggled to save the game.

Australia started Day 3 on 110-6, 378 runs behind South Africa’s 488 and facing a big challenge to avoid an innings defeat in the series decider.

Paine is captaining Australia after former skipper Steve Smith was banned for 12 months and sent home from the tour of South Africa for his role in a ball-tampering scandal in the third test in Cape Town last weekend.

Vice-captain David Warner and batsman Cameron Bancroft were also sent home in disgrace and banned long-term for being part of the plot to cheat.