Perth: Nov 30, 2012
Buoyed by the opportunity to unleash a totally revamped pace attack against the visiting South Africans in the third and final Test at Perth, Australia made merry as they suppressed the Proteas to 141 for seven at Tea on Day One.
Debutant John Hastings (one for 43) and Mitchell Johnson (one for 22), playing his first Test since November 2011, joined the party after Mitchell Starc (two for 47) got a brace in the first session. Hastings got his first Test wicket after finding the edge of the AB De Villiers (4), while Johnson sent back South African debutant Dean Elgar for a duck.
The dangerous Hashim Amla (11) was the first wicket to fall after lunch – run out off a direct hit from David Warner – pegging South Africa to 67 for four.
De Villiers and Elgar soon followed Amla back to the pavilion, before Faf du Plessis (39 not out) – South Africa’s saviour in Adelaide – and Robin Peterson (31) struck a 57-run partnership to launch a mini-fightback.
However, spinner Nathan Lyon (one for 13) got rid of Peterson against the run of play with a quarter of an hour to go before the tea break to dent South Africa’s hopes of any revival.
Earlier, Australia were forced to overhaul their bowling attack for the match after Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus, who bowled majority of the overs in Adelaide after James Pattinson’s withdrawal due to injury, were rested.
This brought in the two Mitchells – Starc and Johnson – into the line-up. Shane Watson (one for 14), returning from a calf injury, was also brought in while fellow all-rounder and fast-medium bowler John Hastings was given a debut at the WACA.
Starc claimed a brace in the first session after he struck the woodwork of opener Alviro Petersen (30) and the talismanic Jacques Kallis (2), the latter in the last over before lunch.
Watson, who made a comeback into the Test squad following a calf injury, bowled a tidy spell of three overs in the first session and picked up the wicket of South Africa skipper Graeme Smith for 16.
Earlier, Smith won the toss and chose to bat first against Australia in the series-deciding third Test in Perth.
The visitors made three changes, bringing in Dean Elgar, Robin Peterson and Vernon Philander for Imran Tahir, Jacques Rudolph and Rory Kleinveldt.
Brief Score: South Africa 141 for 7 (Faf du Plessis 39*, Robin Peterson 31; Mitchell Starc 2 for 47, Mitchell Johnson 1 for 22, Shane Watson 1 for 14) vs Australia