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Australia won 1st Test by 118 runs

08 March, 2018, 01:38 | Author: Carla Brady

Markram had made centuries against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, two of cricket's lesser powers, but said performing against Australia in tough conditions was a personal highlight.

Mitchell Starc started the day on a hat-trick but was denied by Quinton de Kock, before Josh Hazlewood trapped the wicketkeeper lbw in the fourth over of the day. "Our tail is going to have to scrap and get as many runs as they can, but we know that batsmen one-to-seven have the major responsibility to ensure that the runs down there are not so vital", Du Plessis said after the 118-run defeat.

The opener made 143, but South Africa had only lived to fight another day because bad light stopped play. "Even the spinners were becoming harder to see", Australia's Paine said, accepting the decision of the umpires.

Starc and Marsh - again combined for an unexpected but telling double play in their stronger and weaker suits to leave Australia a wicket short of the Test win.

But Aiden Markram's brilliant 143, coupled with courageous support from Theunis de Bruyn and a superb return to form by Quinton de Kock, allowed the Proteas to take the game into the fifth morning, albeit for just 22 balls of action before they were dismissed for 298.

Australian tailender Pat Cummins smacked a couple of boundaries before playing on to left-armer Keshav Mahara.

This will help the lower-order to deal with the other bowler who may not be as effective as Starc with the older ball but are world-class in their own right.

In the first innings, South Africa collapsed from 150 for 5 to 162 all out while in the second innings they went from 283 for 5 to 298 all out. What he said got a little bit personal towards Davey and, as we saw, it certainly provoked an emotional response. The character of the batters who got runs.

"It was just reminding him of what he had just done, trying to get him off his game, the same as they do to us".

Paine's ploy to stand up to Marsh was a masterstroke. "But what's done is done and we had to fight our way back in the second innings and I thought the guys showed a lot of fight". From time to time‚ Starc's fuller length gives away drive balls but once the ball's hooping‚ he becomes a nightmare. To go with three world-class pacemen, Australia's attack boasts of a finger spinner who's now the best in world cricket.

As a bowling group there were periods when we weren't at our best.

Instead, on a worn pitch, it was Starc's reverse-swing that did the damage.

However, he lost patience and tried to hit Vernon Philander (3-59) over the top of mid-on, only for the tall Morne Morkel to pluck a catch out of the air.

The performance of Markram was particularly noteworthy, having received a spray from Australia's David Warner when he played a part in the run out of AB de Villiers without scoring in the morning. Markram was 85 not out, along with De Kock on 21, with South Africa needing another 250 runs to win the opening Test.

"For what reason I'm not so sure, I haven't worked it out just yet". It was a big deflection and Paine did really well to hold onto it.

Privy to the third day action of that match from their exalted accommodation in a private suite of the Newlands Cricket Grounds President's Pavilion were the blazer-clad members of South Africa's under-19 squad who had, two days earlier, triumphed in the final of ICC's prestigious junior World Cup.

Australia require just one wicket to take a 1-0 lead in the four-Test series after setting South Africa 417 for victory.


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