DURBAN – A searing spell of fast bowling by Mitchell Starc saw the Proteas routed for 162 all out, as Australia lived up to their billing as series favourites in some style on day two of the first Test at Kingsmead on Friday.
Starc finished with figures of 5/34, taking the scalps of Kagiso Rabada and Morné Morkel to wrap up the South African tail in brilliant, late afternoon sunshine in Durban.
At the other end, AB de Villiers stood helpless on 71 not out.
De Villiers held a lone vigil at the crease as Australia chipped away at his partners with a mix of straight and fast bowling, as well as some clever spin from Nathan Lyon.
The off-spinner had started the rot, taking the wickets of Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla in his first over.
Aiden Markram (32) made a start and then gave it away, but the Aussies did not relent on their plan.
De Villiers made a welcome return to form, and Quinton de Kock (20) showed flashes of old, but the end came quickly once the Proteas wicket-keeper fell to Lyon.
Starc administered the last rites, and Australia went to bed with a lead of 189.