PORT ELIZABETH - South Africa hit back with six wickets in the afternoon to reduce Australia to 172/7 on the first day of the second Test at St George’s Park.
Kagiso Rabada was the chief destroyer, picking up the wickets of Steve Smith, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh and Pat Cummins. Rabada claimed all four wickets in the space of seven balls as Australia capitulated to the Proteas’ spearhead.
Vernon Philander chipped in with Usman Khawaja’s wicket after earlier dismissing Cameron Bancroft on the stroke of lunch time.
However, the big wicket of David Warner belonged to young seamer Lungi Ngidi, who earlier replaced the experienced Morne Morkel in the Proteas line-up.
Warner’s wicket was crucial as the Australian vice-captain had shrugged off a tough week of off-field scrutiny to post a gutsy half-century.
Warner, who was fined 75% of his match and issued with three demerit points for his part of the fracas with South Africa’s Quinton de Kock on a Kingsmead stairwell during last week’s first Test in Durban, put all that behind him to lay into the South African attack in the first session and move to 98/1.
Australia had earlier won the toss and Steve Smith had no hesitation to bat despite there being a steady drizzle all morning and grey skies hovering over the country’s oldest stadium.
Score: Australia: 172/7 (Warner 63, Philander 2/15, Rabada 4/67)