South Africa's wicketkeeper-batsman has looked his usual best in his unbeaten half-century knock    Getty Images
South Africa’s wicketkeeper-batsman has looked his usual best in his unbeaten half-century knock at Perth Getty Images

In the second session of first Test between Australia and South Africa, visitors are in trouble with the scoreline reading at 175 for 7 at tea break. Electing to bat, Faf du Plessis side did not get off to a great start with wickets tumbling at regular intervals. Losing four wickets in the opening session, Proteas lost two three wickets with skipper and 26-year-old Temba Bavuma departing after settling in the middle. Wicketkeeper-batsman, Quinton de Kock, remained unbeaten at ..* by displaying some blistering strokes and playing well against the rising balls. He lost his partner Bavuma for 51 who was dismissed by Nathan Lyon at forward short-leg by Shaun Marsh. de Kock lost Vernon Philander just three balls before end of second session. They will be hoping to cross the 200-run mark and reach somewhere near 250 before getting bundled out. LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: Australia vs South Africa, 1st Test at WACA, Perth

Earlier, South Africa faltered in the opening session as Australian bowlers were on top bagging four wickets with the tottering at 78 for 4 at lunch in Perth. 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. Mitchell Starc, who entered the squad after the forgettable Sri Lanka series, drew first blood and got Stephen Cook in the third ball of the first over off a blinder from Mitchell Marsh. It was Josh 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. Starc looked hungry as ever even after coming back from a long break. Hashim Amla stepped in at No. 3 but departed soon. Elgar tried to bring momentum with some ones and twos, however, Amla looked out of action and was gone with Hazlewood striking early and bagging his first wicket with captain Steven Smith taking the catch at slips. ALSO READ: Australia vs South Africa 1st Test, Day 1, Lunch Report: Hosts’ bowlers on top as Proteas crumble in first session

Surprise of the day was when JP Duminy was called at No. 4. Duminy and Elgar stabilised the innings with some boundaries with the former being dropped twice. Elgar, could not continue for long as Hazlewood struck again and this time wicketkeeper-batsman, Peter Nevill made no mistake, dismissing him off for 12.

Duminy perished soon after Elgar leaving South Africa in tatters. 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.

du Plessis had won the toss and opted to bat in the opening Test at Perth. 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. 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 International (ODI) 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 whitewash to Sri Lanka in their last assignment in subcontinent.

Brief Scores:

South Africa 175 for 7 (Faf du Plessis 37, Temba Bavuma 51, Quinton de Kock 53*, Mitchell Starc 3 for 42, Josh Hazlewood 2 for 47) vs Australia