South Africa fight back to claim upper hand in first Test against Australia

Dean Elgar (46 not out) and Jean-Paul Duminy (34 not out) guided South Africa to 104-2 at the close, a lead of 102 runs, after Australia were dismissed for 244 runs on the second day

Dean Elgar and Jean-Paul Duminy walk from the field at stumps following a remarkable South African fightback
Dean Elgar and Jean-Paul Duminy walk from the field at stumps following a remarkable South African fightback

South Africa staged a remarkable comeback and shrugged off the loss of fast bowler Dale Steyn to injury in the first cricket test at the WACA on Friday.

After Australia's openers piled up 158-0, swing bowlers Vernon Philander (4-56) and Kasigo Rabada (2-78), and leftarm spinner Keshav Mahraj (3-56) exposed the vulnerability of the Australian batting to dismiss the host for 244 runs.

South Africa was bowled out for 242 after winning the toss and batting first on the opening day.

The visitors were in trouble at 45-2 in the second innings after losing opener Stephen Cook (12) and Hashim Amla (1). But opener Dean Elgar (46 not out) and Jean-Paul Duminy (34 not out) guided South Africa to 104-2 at the close, a lead of 102 runs.

Mahraj bowled with guile and control to claim the wickets of skipper Steve Smith, Peter Nevill and Mitchell Starc.

Australia lost 10-86 before and after lunch following an aggressive stand between David Warner (97) and Shaun Marsh (63).

Warner was racing toward his 17th career century when he pushed at a delivery from Steyn away from the body, and was caught by first slip Amla.

Warner's dismissal triggered a top-order collapse as Australia lost Usman Khawaja (4), Smith (0), and Marsh in the space of 23 runs before lunch.

Khawaja was yorked by Rabada, and two overs later, Mahraj dismissed Smith lbw for his maiden test wicket.

Jean Paul Duminy ended 34 not out

Soon after dismissing Warner, Steyn left the field. Maharaj completed Steyn's unfinished over and in his very next over trapped Smith, who unsuccessfully reviewed the on-field decision.

"Losing 9 for 80 is disappointing in any context in this game," Warner lamented. "I accept responsibility as well as a top order batter. We always talk about one guy going on and getting a big hundred."

Despite the loss of Steyn, Warner believes South Africa remains a formidable opponent in series.

"They've still got two very, very good fast bowlers, and we've seen the wickets they're capable of with the ball going both ways. We have to respect that.

"I'm disappointed for Dale. I know how pumped he would've been. I know he's had this injury for a while, I just hope he can get back on the park."

Steyn was taken to a nearby hospital for scans and was diagnosed with a rare bone stress which may force him out of the game for at least six months, according to team officials. Steyn will return home at the end of the first test.

South Africa lost Dale Steyn early on to injury

Warner batted for 2 hours and hit a six and 16 fours. He has shared century opening stands in each of the past three tests against South Africa, after he and Chris Rogers put on 126 and 123 in the last two tests of the 2013-14 series.

Marsh played second fiddle to the aggressive Warner, and batted for over three hours and hit seven fours off 148 balls.

Resuming on 181-4 after lunch, Australia immediately lost Mitchell Marsh (0) trapped lbw by Philander. But Adam Voges (27) and Nevill lifted the innings before Rabada took a return catch to dismiss Voges off a leading edge.

Australia slumped to 203-7 when Starc (0) was well caught by Faf du Plessis off Maharaj.

Australia was at risk of conceding a first-innings deficit but Nevill (23) and Peter Siddle (18 not out) shared a 29-run eighth-wicket stand.

AP.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in