Marsh, Starc star as Aussies take control

David Warner Quinton de Kock D. Warner South Africa national cricket team Quinton de Kock Cricket indian express

David Warner Quinton de Kock D. Warner South Africa national cricket team Quinton de Kock Cricket indian express

Maharaj had Khawaja caught off the glove for the first of his three wickets.

AB de Villiers (71 not out) was sublime for South Africa as he forged a lone battle, but ran out of partners as Starc ripped through the middle and lower order with his fast swing bowling.

South African spinner Keshav Maharaj (5/123) grabbed the last wicket of Lyon to complete a five-wicket haul.

Rabada then had Mitchell Marsh caught by Hashim Amla at first slip, a 100th test catch for the latter who joins Jacques Kallis (200) and Graeme Smith (169) as only the third South African to reach that mark.

After the first Australia vs South Africa Test at Kingsmead, the series will shift to Port Elizabeth for the second Test starting Friday, March 9.

But once de Kock fell, bowled by Lyon after he played down the wrong line, the hosts collapsed, as Starc weaved his magic with a devastating spell of reverse swing bowling at serious pace.

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Australia's Cameron Bancroft avoids a bouncer from South Africa's Morne Morkel at Kingsmead on Saturday.

Nathan Lyon, who claimed three first-innings wickets and now sits sixth on the list of Australia's all-time leading Test wicket-takers, will be licking his lips at the state of the pitch. England tried many different strategies, from trying to starve him of run-scoring opportunities and make him chase balls outside off-stump, short balls at the body with catchers on the leg side behind square, balls at the legs with catchers on the leg side in front of square, short balls outside off with catchers in the gully etc all proved relatively unsuccessful.

Australia escaped from trouble the Ashes victor was 177-5 on day one to push its way up to 351 all out in its first innings, with the comeback largely down to Marsh and the three significant lower-order partnerships he anchored. None of them went on to big scores, though, giving South Africa reason to be positive.

Australia picked up wickets at regular intervals through the afternoon session with only opener Aidan Markram (32) and Quinton de Kock (20) offering any sort of support to the excellent De Villiers. The partnership was heavily dominated by Starc who hit a quick 25-ball 35.

Marsh hit 13 fours and a six and he almost followed up on a century in his last innings, against England in the last match of the Ashes.

Du Plessis said on match eve that one of the ways to beat Australia was to dry up the runs and the drought was on after lunch as the Australians limped from 3-121 to 3-129 in eight overs. After Marsh and Starc added 49 runs for the eighth-wicket, Marsh and Lyon added another 41 runs for the ninth-wicket until Vernon Philander denied Marsh a century.

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