Australia's Mitchell Marsh celebrates scoring a half century on day two of the first Test against the Proteas at Kingsmead on Friday. Photo: REUTERS/Rogan Ward

DURBAN - Mitchell Marsh scored a gritty half-century, as he led Australia to 300 for eight, at lunch on day two of the first Test against South Africa at Kingsmead.

The all-rounder played an innings different to his usual, free-scoring, as he dug in and provided the stability the tourists needed. Resuming on 225 for five, they soon lost Tim Paine for 25, as he was undone by a rejuvenated Kagiso Rabada. The Proteas speedster struck with the fourth ball with the second new ball.

Spinner Keshav Maharaj, who had impressed on the first day, continued his fine work, as he bowled Pat Cummins with a clever arm-ball, before adding the scalp of the dangerous Mitchell Starc on the stroke of lunch.

Starc had struck a breezy 35, with four fours and two sixes, before he played inside a Maharaj delivery that didn’t turn as much. At lunch, the left-arm spinner was on the verge of completing a five-wicket haul on his home ground, with figures of four for 103 from nearly 31 overs.

Marsh remains on 60 not out.

IOL Sport

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