David Warner was unbeaten at 73 at stumps on Day 1 at Perth    Getty Images
David Warner was unbeaten at 73 at stumps on Day 1 at Perth Getty Images

On Day One of the first Test between Australia and South Africa, visitors were all-out for 242 in their first innings after winning the toss and electing to bat. In reply, Australia ended the day at 105 for 0, trailing by 137 runs with David Warner leading charge with another quickfire fifty. With pace and bounce evident at the pitch and South Africa having a quality bowling line-up, Day Two could see a good contest between bat and ball. Faf du Plessis‘ side, after winning the toss, did not get off to a great start with wickets tumbling at regular intervals and eventually got collapsed for 242. Temba Bavuma fought hard and departed for 51 after settling in the middle but it was wickekeeper-batsman, Quinton de Kock, whose gritty and attacking 84 helped South Africa to some sort of score. His 84 displayed some blistering strokes as he played well against the rising balls. He lost partners from the other end and eventually fell 16 short of a deserving hundred. He was done by a well planned slower short pitched ball by Josh Hazlewood who ended with three wickets while Mitchell Starc ended with four scalps. LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: Australia vs South Africa, 1st Test at WACA, Perth

Earlier, South Africa faltered in the first session as Australian bowlers were on top of their game bagging four wickets with the score reading 78 for 4 at lunch. South Africa’s skipper du Plessis and middle-order batsman Bavuma built healthy partnership of 49 runs before the skipper departed for a well made 37. Starc, who entered the squad after the forgettable Sri Lanka series and an injury, drew first blood and got Stephen Cook in the third ball of the first over off a blinder from Mitchell Marsh. It was Hazlewood and Peter Siddle who continued to rattle the South African batsmen with the former being most accurate while others chipped in as well.

South Africa began their innings with Cook and Dean Elgar. While Starc’s pace and length got the better of Cook, Elgar got to a start somehow before going for 12. Hashim Amla looked out of action at No. 3 as he went without troubling the scorers for 0. JP Duminy was promoted at No. 4 but he also faltered for 11 off Hazlewood. ALSO READ: Australia vs South Africa 1st Test, Day 1, Lunch Report: Hosts’ bowlers on top as Proteas crumble in first session

Later on, du Plessis showed character, rotated the strike well with Bavuma and played some crispy shots but just when he was looking set for a half-century, he was dismissed for 37 just after the lunch break.

du Plessis’ dismissal brought de Kock at the crease and he looked in sublime touch after a strong of good scores in the tour games. He came to the pitch of the ball, timed everything from the middle, ran hard with Bavuma and stood his end with confidence. Had it not been an innings of character, as displayed by de Kock, South Africa would have fallen for less than 200. Vernon Philander fell for a poor pull shot, playing close to the body, off Starc. Starc and Hazlewood did what was expected as they bowled with steam, pace and accuracy while Nathon Lyon and Peter Siddle chipped in too.

Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn and Keshav Maharaj played some shots before Proteas folded for 242. Being 32 for 4 at one stage, Proteas would take this score but will have to apply pressure on Day Two at the strong Australian batting line-up to enforce a favourable result. Steyn troubled Shaun Marsh a lot with short pitched balls but Warner was given a reprieve with Philander hitting his leg stumps as Warner missed the length of the ball completely. The visitors went for a review and surprisingly Aleem Darr was challenged and proved wrong, but a no-ball led to Warner’s stay in the middle.

After that there was nothing to cheer about for the visitors as Australia went wicketless and added 100 runs for the first wicket. South Africa haven’t been able to get any breakthrough but will have to regroup and come hard tomorrow. Earlier, visitors’ team combination left out tall fast bowler Morne Morkel in the first Test, instead promoting emerging spinner Maharaj. Australia omitted uncapped fast bowler Joe Mennie with veteran Siddle returning to the side. ALSO READ: Australia vs South Africa, 1st Test, Day 1 Tea Report: Quinton de Kock’s fifty keeps visitors in hunt after top-order collapse

Brief Scores:

South Africa 242 (Faf du Plessis 37, Temba Bavuma 51, Quinton de Kock 84, Mitchell Starc 4 for 71, Josh Hazlewood 3 for 70) lead Australia 105 for 0 (David Warner 73*, Shaun Marsh 29*; Vernon Philander 0 for 26, Kagiso Rabada 0 for 29) by 137 runs.