Perth Test, Day 1: Aussies hold edge after Plessis continues to impress

Zeenews Sports Bureau


AUSTRALIA Over: 11 II Score: 33/2 (Warner 12*, Lyon 7*) (SA: 225/10)

Nathan Lyon survived the final assault of the day from a charging Dale Steyn as Australia ended the day at 33/2. After bowling out South Africa for 225 on the opening day of the final Test, the home team lost two wickets within five overs. The first one to depart was Ed Cowan who was caught at slips by Kallis. He left without disturbing the scoreboard. The next batsman was Shane Watson. He began in style with a late cut to third man region for four off the first ball. However, his attempt to defend a length ball from Vernon Philander proved to be his undoing as he was given out lbw.

Lyon was sent in as nightwatchman to the disappointment of the crowd that was expecting Ricky Ponting. They were already on their feet cheering Lyon whom they mistook for Ponting. However, soon they realised their mistake and couldn’t hide their smiles. Ponting too was seen smiling in the pavilion.

However, Lyon had a bigger task at hand -- to survive the remaining overs of the day which he did in the end.

By the close of play, Warner (12*) and Lyon (7*) were still batting for the home side.

AUSTRALIA Over: 5.1 II Score: 18/2 (Warner 8*, Lyon 0*) (SA: 225/10)

And the second strike comes from lanky Morkel. Shane Watson goes for defending a length ball from Vernon Philander. The ball strikes him on the pads in front of the wickets. Philander asks the question, umpire Rauf is not impressed. Smith calls for review and third umpire says it’s out. Watson scored 10 (12b, 4X1).

In walks right handed Nathan Lyon to a standing ovation from the crowd. Wait! What? Don’t be surprised. They were expecting Ricky Ponting. However, Clarke opted for a nightwatchman. Ponting is smiling in the dressing room, so is everyone in the crowd.

AUSTRALIA Over: 1 II Score: 8/1 (Warner 3*, Watson 0*) (SA: 225/10)

And Dale Steyn has made the first strike! Ed Cowan has been dismissed for naught. Angled in and Cowan stretches and the ball flies to Jacques Kallis at second slip after taking an edge. Steyn is pumped up. So are his teammates but the crowd has gone quiet at WACA.

Shane Watson walks in at No. 3. Begins in style as he late cuts the first ball for a boundary to third man.

Official attendance on Day 1: 15,961

SOUTH AFRICA Over: 73 II Score: 225/10 (Plessis 78*, Lyon 3/41)

And Morne Morkel has been caught at mid on off Lyon. Tossed up and Morkel lofted it. He couldn’t time it and was caught by Hastings. He scored 17 (15b, 4X4). With this, South Africa’s first innings has come to an end at 225. They should be happy with the score considering that at one stage they were 75/6. However, Faf du Plessis continued to resist Australian attack and built some useful partnership with Robin Peterson and Vernon Philander to take his team’s score past 200-run mark.

It was a high quality bowling from the home team that went with a completely changed pace attack for the third Test. Each of their blowers delivered with Nathan Lyon taking 3/41. For the visitors Plesis top scored with 78*.

As of now, Australia have the upper hand.

SOUTH AFRICA Over: 70.2 II Score: 218/9 (Plessis 76*, Morkel 12*)

Dale Steyn became the victim of late decision. He had to blame himself for that after deciding to leave one from Mitchell Johnson quite late as the ball took an edge after he had raised his bat. The ball crashed on the stumps. He scored 2 (11b).

Meanwhile, new batsman Morne Morkel has struck three consecutive boundaries off Johnson.

SOUTH AFRICA Over: 67.1 II Score: 196/8 (Plessis 68*, Steyn 0*)

And the eight wicket stand has come to an end after lasting 19.4 overs and 64 runs. A good partnership that. Vernon Philander scored 30 before launching one high in the air off Lyon. The ball went miles before succumbing to gravity and Michael Hussey grabbed it safely. Dale Steyn walks in.

SOUTH AFRICA Over: 67 II Score: 196/7 (Plessis 68*, Philander 30*)

Faf du Plessis is leading South African recovery as he struck two back to back boundaries in Shane Watson’s eight over – both through cover regions. Can they finish the day without losing another wicket?

SOUTH AFRICA Over: 57 II Score: 159/7 (Plessis 48*, Philander 13*)

Philander ended Johnson’s 15th over with a boundary. It came off an edge going past the slip cauldron to third man. Meanwhile, Plessis is nearing his fifty.

SOUTH AFRICA (AT TEA) Over: 52 II Score: 141/7 (Plessis 39*, Philander 4*)

It has been Australia’s session. Four wickets have fallen in the second session as the home team continues to hold edge. Faf du Plessis is again holding fort for South Africa. Giving him company is an uncertain Vernon Philander.

SOUTH AFRICA Over: 48 II Score: 133/7 (Plessis 34*, Philander 1*)

Nathan Lyon broke the seventh wicket stand between Peterson and Plessis by having the former caught by wicketkeeper Matthew Wade. It was short and wide from Lyon and Peterson went after it, attempting a cut. It took an edge and Wade did the rest. He scored 31 (45b, 4X3)

SOUTH AFRICA Over: 45 II Score: 128/6 (Plessis 33*, RJ Peterson 28*)

Plessis and Peterson have added 50 runs for the seventh wicket. Plessis is still going strong with Peterson playing a handy role. Plessis had scored a match-saving 110 in the second Test.

SOUTH AFRICA Over: 40 II Score: 103/6 (Plessis 23*, RJ Peterson 14*)

South Africa have now crossed 100 runs without losing another wicket. There was a loud appeal in the last over for lbw (Plessis) that was turned down by the on-field umpire. Clarke called for a review but the decision was upheld.

SOUTH AFRICA Over: 31 II Score: 75/6 (Plessis 8*, RJ Peterson 0*)

The Australian bowlers are all over the Proteas’ batsmen! Mitchell Johnson has removed debutant Dean Elgar for duck. A short one from the blower and Elgar top edged it that was easily taken by wicketkeeper Matthew Wade. He lasted 12 deliveries without adding a run.

SOUTH AFRICA Over: 28 II Score: 71/5 (Plessis 4*, Elgar 0*)

And John Hastings gets a wicket on debut. He was denied the opportunity in Amla before as Cowan dropped a sitter at short midwicket. However, this time Clarke at first slip made sure that Hastings gets his first Test wicket in AB de Villiers. A full delivery that moved late and de Villiers went for a drive. The ball took an edge and flew to Clarke. He scored 4(12b, 4X1).

SOUTH AFRICA Over: 27 II Score: 67/4 (Villiers 4*, Elgar 0*)

Hashim Amla is out! Amla couldn’t make use of the chance that he was given after Ed Cowan dropped him at short midwicket on 11. De Villiers played on to covers and called his partner for a quick single. Warner found the timbers as Amla was caught short at the strikers’ end. He scored 11 (43b, 4X2). Dean Elgar is the new batsman in the middle.

SOUTH AFRICA Over: 24.3 II Score: 63/3 (Amla 11*, Villiers 0*)

And Mitchell strikes again! Jacques Kallis has been bolwed. Two wickets in two overs for Starc! Again a full delivery and Kallis drives. The result is the same as the ball crashes on the off stump. He scored 2 (7b).

Australia have pulled things back right at the stroke of lunch.

SOUTH AFRICA Over: 23 II Score: 62/2 (Amla 11*, Kallis 1*)

Mitchell Starc strikes! Alviro Peterson has been bowled. A full length delivery and the batsman goes for a drive, the ball sneaks through to strike the stumps. Peterson scored 30(73b, 4X4). The celebrations were halted when umpire went upstairs to check for the no ball. However, Starc is safe and the Peterson has to walk.

SOUTH AFRICA Over: 20 II Score: 60/1 (Peterson 29*, Amla 11*)

Mitchell Johnson has been bowling nice and tight. He has kept the batsmen on their toes. Amla took the score past 50 runs with a boundary off debutant Hastings through point. In the next over, Peterson scored a boundary off Starc towards third man. The next two overs from the bowlers were maidens.

SOUTH AFRICA Over: 15 II Score: 47/1 (Peterson 22*, Amla 6*)

Making his first appearance in the series, Shane Watson struck big with the wicket of South African captain Graeme Smith. A full delivery and Smith attempted to defend it. The ball took an edge and went flying into the hands of Michael Clarke at first slip. Smith scored 16 (30b, 4X1)

SOUTH AFRICA Over: 7 II Score: 27/0 (Smith 8*, Peterson 17*)

South Africa won the toss and elected to bat first against Australia in the third and final Test of the three- match series.

The third Test has gained significance due to two factors – it’s the series decider that will confirm who sits at the top of ICC Test rankings and will be Ricky Ponting’s last as well.

Both the teams have made changes in their playing XI. Australia have included Shane Watson, Mitchell Marsh, Mitchell Johnson and debutant John Hastings. South Africa have made three changes and included Dean Elgar, Robin Peterson and Vernon Philander.

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