Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Pace bowler Kagiso Rabada put South Africa in a commanding position on the opening day in Port Elizabeth as he carved through Australia’s batting line-up with a fantastic five-for.
Choosing to bat first, Australia got off to a superb start as openers Cameron Bancroft and David Warner amassed a 98-run partnership, during which Warner brought up his half-century.
With Australia cruising, South Africa launched an impressive comeback, starting with the wicket of Bancroft right on the stroke of lunch as he was caught behind off the bowling of Vernon Philander for 38.
South Africa continued to claw their way back into the game after lunch as Usman Khawaja suffered the same fate as Bancroft, while Warner was clean bowled by Lungi Ngidi for 63, which came off 100 balls and included nine boundaries.
Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Australia captain Steve Smith and Shaun Marsh temporarily halted South Africa’s charge with a 44-run partnership before Smith was given out lbw off the bowling of Rabada for 25. Smith opted to review the decision, but his hopes of getting the original decision overturned went in vain.
Marsh ended up scoring 24 before he was also given out lbw off the bowling of Rabada. Just like Smith, Marsh reviewed the decision, but replays showed that the ball was pitching in line and going on to hit the top of leg stump.
After getting Marsh out on the second ball of the 54th over, Rabada struck twice more in successive deliveries as he took out Mitchell Marsh and Pat Cummins on the fifth and sixth balls respectively.
With Mitchell Starc falling shortly after, Australia wicketkeeper Tim Paine and spinner Nathan Lyon frustrated the Proteas with a 30-run partnership before Lyon was clean bowled by Rabada for 17.
Australia ended up being bowled out for 243 when Paine was cleaned up by Ngidi for 36.
Rabada was the pick of the bowlers with five wickets, while Ngidi snapped up three and Philander took two.
Trailing by 243 runs, South Africa lost opener Aiden Markram early on as he was trapped lbw off the bowling of Cummins for 11.
Following Markram’s dismissal, Rabada upped the ante as he took the attack to the Australian bowlers during his unbeaten 17-run stand with Dean Elgar before stumps was called.
Rabada finished on 17 off 14 balls, which included four boundaries, while Elgar remained undefeated on 11 off 37 deliveries, which included two boundaries.
Cummins was the only bowler to take a wicket.
South Africa ended day one on 39/1 and will continue batting on Saturday at 10:00 local time or 08:00 GMT.