Perth: Faf du Plessis-led South Africa made a superb start in the Test series against Australia with a comprehensive 177-run win at Western Australia Cricket Association Ground. Kagiso Rabada dented the chase of the Aussies with a brilliant five-fer.
On Day 5 of the first Test, the visitors bowled out the hosts for 361 runs. Australia were chasing a formidable 538-run target.
Resuming play at 169/4, Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Marsh added 27 more runs before the latter was dismissed by Kagiso Rabada. The paceman bowled a beautiful yorker which trapped the right-hander in front of the wicket.
Australian batsmen were looking vulnerable against some quality bowling from the South Africans since the start of the final day.
JP Duminy, who slammed a brilliant 141 runs in the second innings, bagged the big wicket of Khawaja (97) in his ninth over. The left-hander was looking to play for turn against a delivery which nipped into him after pitching and trapped him in front of the wicket.
Rabada, who bowled his heart out in the second innings in the absence of bowling spearhead Dale Steyn, picked his five-fer by trapping Mitchell Starc off a quick delivery.
Towards the end, Peter Nevill and Josh Hazlewood resurrected the innings to an extent with a fighting 65-run stand for the ninth wicket. But that proved futile as the hosts fell short by 177 runs.
Rabada was the pick of the bowlers for South Africa with five wickets. Vernon Philander, JP Duminy, Keshav Maharaj and Temba Bavuma chipped in with a wicket apiece.
Barring Day 1, South Africa looked in total control of the Test match. They now have a 1-0 lead in the three match series.
The second Test is scheduled to be played at Bellerive Oval in Hobart from November 12.