South Africa vs Australia 1st Test Day 1: Marsh and Smith keep South Africa at bay

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Marsh revived Australia’s innings with his unbeaten century

Australia batsman Shaun Marsh, who was drafted in as a late replacement for the injured Shane Watson, kept South Africa at bay on the first day of the first Test in Centurion by smashing a spectacular century.

Despite having the upper hand early on, South Africa failed to take control as Marsh and Steven Smith, who scored a fantastic half-century, put together an unbeaten 199-run partnership.

South Africa captain Graeme Smith would have been delighted with his decision to bowl first early on as Australia opening batsman David Warner was clean bowled by Dale Steyn for just 12 runs.

Warner’s opening partner, Chris Rogers, failed to last much longer as he was caught by Jean Paul (JP) Duminy at short leg off the bowling of Morne Morkel for four runs.

Debutant Alex Doolan managed to make 27 before he was brilliantly caught by Robin Peterson at midwicket off the bowling of Ryan McLaren.

Australia captain Michael Clarke failed to have an impact either as he was caught by Vernon Philander at deep fine leg off the bowling of Steyn for 23.

From that point on, it was all Australia as Marsh ans Smith amassed an unbeaten 199-run partnership, during which Marsh brought up his second Test century and Smith his half-century, before the umpires decided to bring play to an end for the day.

Marsh finished on 122 off 232 balls, which included 12 boundaries, while Smith remained undefeated on 91 off 178 deliveries which also included 12 boundaries.

Steyn was the pick of the South African bowlers with two wickets, while Morkel and McLaren chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Australia ended the day on 297/4 and will continue batting tomorrow at 10:30 local time or 08:30 GMT.

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