DURBAN – Two wickets from Vernon Philander saw South Africa shade the first session of the opening Test against Australia at Kingsmead, with the tourists 95/3 at lunch on Thursday.
The visitors, who won the toss and elected to bat, saw off two South African reviews before the break, including one in the opening over of the match, from Morné Morkel.
The Proteas speedster was adamant he had Cameron Bancroft caught on the crease, but replays showed that the ball was bouncing over.
Bancroft didn’t last too much longer, as he was caught behind from a rising Vernon Philander delivery for five, and number three Usman Khawaja initially looked comfortable on the easy-paced wicket.
There was another unsuccessful review from Keshav Maharaj’s opening over, but his leg-before appeal against David Warner was turned down as it was turning too much – an ominous sign for the side batting last.
Khawaja was undone by a fine Kagiso Rabada delivery, which went across him and found the edge.
Quinton de Kock did the rest, diving to his left to complete the dismissal.
Warner and skipper Steve Smith then added 56 for the third wicket, with the opener reaching his half-century from 72 balls.
On the stroke of lunch, however, Philander induced an edge from Warner, and AB de Villiers held on to a sharp catch.
Smith will resume on 24 not out, with Shaun Marsh the new man at the crease.
Teams For Kingsmead
South Africa: Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis (captain), Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock (wk), Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel.
Australia: David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith (captain), Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.