Johannesburg - IOL Sport’s Stuart Hess looks at the Plays of Day 1 of the first Test between the Proteas and Australia at the Gabba in Brisbane.
PLAYS OF THE DAY
CATCH - Under the helmet at short leg, Zondo timed his leap perfectly and then with his right hand poached a delightful catch to get rid of Warner first ball. The fist pumping celebrations were entirely justified.
BALL - Nortje nipped one back through Smith’s defence at 144 km/h in the penultimate over of the day, to raise Proteas spirits.
INNINGS 1 - Kyle Verreynne was superb in rescuing the Proteas from that horror start at 27/4 with a fine knock of 64. Verreynne had made some technical changes after the England series, the bulk of which appears to be about staying stiller for longer.
INNINGS 2 - Travis Head produced a counter-attacking masterclass after Australia had slumped to 27/3. The Proteas lost control of their line and lengths and Head was good enough to thrash the ball to the boundary, playing confidently off both the front and backfoot. He ended the first day not out on 78.
GREEN - No not Cameron, although his catch at gully to get rid of Erwee, was smart. This is about the pitch, that you couldn’t tell apart from the outfield. It was slow initially but there was sufficient movement off it, to keep the bowlers interested. Both team’s sets of quicks wasted the opportunity however despite the totals at the end of the day. As it hardens it will be interesting to see how much harder judging the bounce will be because of the divets
WOEFUL - The Proteas last five innings - four in England and then Saturday’s effort - read as follows: 151, 179, 118, 169 and 152.