Josh Hazlewood ended first session with figures of 2 for 26 on Day 1 of the first Test    Getty Images
Josh Hazlewood ended first session with figures of 2 for 26 on Day 1 of the first Test Getty Images

South Africa stuttered in the first session as Australia bowlers were on top bagging four wickets and making the visitors head to Lunch at 78 in the first Test at W.A.C.A Stadium in Perth. South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis and middle-order batsman Temba Bavuma built healthy partnership of 46 runs after the Proteas witnessed collapse. Mitchell Starc, who entered the squad after the Sri Lanka series, drew first blood and got Stephen Cook in the third ball of the first over. But it was Josh Hazlewood and Peter Sidlle who continued to rattle the South African batsmen. JP Duminy found life twice as he was dropped by Usman Khawaja and Nathan Lyon, but was unlucky the third time. Du Plessis in playing on 37 while Bavuma on 17 at Lunch. LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: Australia vs South Africa, 1st Test at WACA, Perth

South Africa began their innings with their regular opening batsmen Stephen Cook and Elgar. On the other end was Starc with the new ball. Starc looked hungry as ever and grabbed his first wicket in the third ball of the first over, with Mitchell Marsh showing his athletic skills for that brilliant catch of Cook in gully. It was time for the consistent batsman Hashim Amla to step in at No. 3. Elgar tried to bring momentum with some ones and twos, however, Amla looked out of action and was gone too soon with Hazlewood striking early and bagging his first wicket as well, with captain Steven Smith comfortably taking the catch towards second slip. A thick edge from Amla and he was gone for a golden duck.

Surprisingly, Duminy was called at No. 4 and not du Plessis, who usually enters at this position to save his side from precarious conditions. Duminy and Elagar stabalised the innings with some boundaries here and there along with singles. The spotlight came in when Duminy was dropped twice, once by Khawaja which could have been Starc s second wicket while the other being of Lyon dropping the second wicket, going past the fingers of his, ending up with a boundary. Elgar, could not continue to carry the bat till the end of the innings. Hazlewood struck again and this time Nevill made no mistake, dismissing him off for 12.

Duminy, however, was not lucky the third time as a slight inside edge and catch by Nevill, ensured he was dismissed. The wicket was reviewed by the Proteas and there was slight nudge on the bat. The collapse was evident, with Duminy s wicket, South Africa were four down. Finally, spinner was called upon in the 22nd over and had du Plessis had no mercy on the spinners as well, conceding just five runs.

South Africa captain du Plessis won the toss and opted to bat against Australia in the first Test at Perth on Thursday. The visitors elected to leave out tall fast bowler Morne Morkel in the first match of the three-Test series, instead promoting emerging spinner Keshav Maharaj for his debut. Australia omitted uncapped fast bowler Joe Mennie, with veteran Peter Siddle returning to the side.

The Proteas thrashed Australia 5-0 in their recent one-day series, but the Australians have been boosted by the return to fitness of bowling spearhead Starc. South Africa have never lost a Test in Perth and are desperate to improve their recent record away from home, while the Australians are keen to rebound from a 3-0 away loss to Sri Lanka in its most recent Test series.

Brief Scores:

South Africa 78 for 4 (Faf du Plessis 37*, Temba Bavuma 17*; Josh Hazlewood 2 for 26) vs Australia