1st Test, Day 1: South Africa vs Australia – As it happened...
Zee Media Bureau
Centurion: Live updates from day 1 of the first Test match between Australia and South Africa being played at Supersport Park, Centurion.
Australia, 1st innings:
Over 90 || Score 297/4
Stumps - Day 1
In yet another productive session for the visiting Australian team, 38 runs were scored in the last ten overs at SuperSport Park, Centurion.
With both Steven Smith (91 n.o) - inching closer to his fourth Test hundred, and centurion Shaun Marsh (122 n.o.) firmly taking on the Proteas' attack, the score reached a respectable 297 at the end of Day 1. Considering that Michael Clarke's side was at one point struggling at 98 for four, the resurrection by this fifth-wicket partnership is indeed commendable.
For the South Africans, Dale Steyn returned with two wickets, while Morne Morkel and Ryan McLaren shared other two wickets.
Over 80 || Score 259/4
Shaun Marsh took a single off JP Duminy's delivery to reach his second Test ton. It has been a special innings considering the fact that he wasn't the first choice for the Australian selectors and was included in the squad in place of an injured Phillip Hughes. Austalia were 98/4 at one stage and Marsh has played a major role in the rescue work, with the help of Steven Smith who had a great Ashes series and is on course to smash another big knock. This partnership is now worth 161 runs and it would be hurting the hosts, very badly.
Shaun Marsh 108* (200b) Steven Smith 71* (150b)
Over 70 || Score 230/4
The momentum of this match is slowly shifting towards Australia. The hosts are still searching for their fifth breakthrough and Marsh is now just one run short of what would be a stupendous century. Smith has given him excellent company and they have heavily dominated the proceedings. The partnership between these two is now worth 132.
Shaun Marsh 99* (172b) Steven Smith 51* (118b)
Over 60 || Score 195/4
Marsh and Smith have not only steadied the ship, but are dictating terms at the moment. None of the Proteas bowlers have managed to disrupt their rhythm. The fifth-wicket partnership has now swollen to 97 runs and Graeme Smith would be a worried skipper at the moment.
Shaun Marsh 77* (144b) Steven Smith 38* (86b)
Over 50 || Score 161/4
Both Marsh and Smith have accelerated the pace of the innings and these two have scored unbeaten 48 runs for the fifth-wicket partnership in the last ten overs. These two have gone for their strokes whenever they were offered something which was wide or too full.
Shaun Marsh 60* (109b) Steven Smith 26* (61b)
Over 40 || Score 113/4
Michael Clarke had been watchful for 44 balls, where he ducked under several balls which were bowled short, inviting him for a pull or a hook shot. The Proteas certainly bowled at the Australian skipper with a plan, and he finall pulled one straight to Philander at deep fine leg. Steyn banged in one short and on this occasion, Clarke failed to control his stroke which landed into Philander's hands. Marsh is still unbeaten on 25 runs and Steven Smith is the new man in.
MJ Clarke c Philander b Steyn 23 (45b)
Over 30|| Score 85/3
Ryan McLaren got the much-needed third breakthrough for South Africa, when after doing all the hard work, Doolan was tempted to score off a short ball and he hit it straight to Peterson at midwicket. That wicket ended the 48-run partnership between him and Marsh. Skipper Michael Clarke is the new man in and he has been watchful so far.
AJ Doolan c Petersen b McLaren 27 (51b)
Over 20|| Score 63/2
Shaun Marsh and debutante Alex Doolan have steadied the ship to an extent as these two have added unbeaten 39-run partnership for the third wicket. The Proteas pace attack has been trying their best to pick the third wicket, but these two have batted well under seaming conditions, and are on course to build a strong partnership for the visitors. Marsh has been in and out of the Australian squad despite being consistent and now the left-hander has one more opportunity to make a big score and prove he deserves to make regular appearances for the Australia.
Alex Doolan 26* (46b) Shaun Marsh 16* (41b)
Over 10 || Score 35/2
Australia lost their openers within the first ten overs. While Dale Steyn got the first breakthrough of the day as he dismissed David Warner, Morkel too scalped his first wicket in form of Chris Rogers who gloved one to short leg.
CJL Rogers c Duminy b Morkel 4 (19b)
DA Warner b Steyn 12 (16b)
Australia would be high on confidence as they take on the Proteas after an amazing success against England. Michael Clarke-led side thrashed England 5-0 in the recently concluded series, and it helped the Aussies gain back some rhythm. While batsmen like Chris Rogers, David Warner and the skipper himself played some crucial innings, it was Mitchell Johnson`s fearsome pace which did most of the damage to the English batsmen, who had no strategy whatsoever to tackle the Australian speedster.
It would be a Test of character for the South Africans as they too achieved success against India when the MS Dhoni-led side toured the rainbow nation in December to play a trimmed series. They would want to show why they are still a top ranked team, but it won`t be easy for them considering they would be playing against Australia, where most of the local pacers have found form. Hashim Amla had a terrible series against India, and while the right-hander would want to get back to form against the Aussies, the visitors would want Dale Steyn & Co. to continue their good run on their home pitches.