Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc bagged early wickets in the first session    Getty Images
Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc shared three wickets in the first session Getty Images

Australian bowlers ruled the first session bagging 3 wickets restricting South Africa to 89 at Tea on Day One of the final Test at The Adelaide Oval, Adelaide. Faf du Plessis and Stephen Cook added 45 runs for fourth wicket to stabalise the Proteas innings. Mitchell Starc did the honours of grabbing the first wicket for Australia dismissing off Dean Elgar. He overstepped when he caught hold of Cook leading to a no-ball eventually. This time he ensured there was no room for errors. Josh Hazlewood followed suit and grabbed two crucial wickets of JP Duminy and Hashim Amla, leaving no scope for the Proteas to breath fresh air. Proteas skipper du Plessis, who was fined the match fee for the ball-tampering row, entered with fresh mind and provided the perfect support his partner Cook was vouching for. They together provided anescape route for the Proteas. Cook and du Plessis ended the first session playing at 40 and 26 respectively. LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: Australia vs South Africa, third Test, Day One at Adelaide

South Africa were off the mark with opening batsman Cook finding the right gap and edging it for boundary off Starc in a streaky fashion. However, Australia bowlers kept South Africa on toes as Starc added pressure on Cook with a plumb and the latter finding his way out. Umpire held Cook back as Starc overstepped, adding further frustration for the pacer. Elgar looked out of sorts with the run-flow coming from Cook. Starc was itching to get his first wicket and did find his first in form of Elgar caught at the third slip by Usman Khawaja. Amla, who has not fired up in this series, was called in at No. 3. Amla and Cook added steadiness after fall of a wicket with 24 runs for third wicket.

Cook continued his run parade and Amla complimented him with some ones or two. Hazlewood s perfect length and variations paid off. He drew his first blood of Amla and this time newbie Matt Renshaw grabbed his first wicket at the first slip. Once again, JP Duminy was sent ahead of skipper du Plessis at No. 4. He was on the spot with a crackling boundary past the covers off Hazlewood. Until the drinks, South Africa were 44 for 2 and Cook was in desperate hunt of a partner who can build steady partnership along. With Duminy also finding his way and Hazlewood was delighted with a massive wicket of the Proteas.

Du Plessis, entering at No. 5 and Cook, finally found momentum after Australian bowlers ruled the first-half of the first session. Du Plessis did face some disapproval from the Australian crowd after his ball-tampering row. Starc delivered a short-ball and du Plessis was attacked once again by the Australia crowd for handling the ball. ALSO READ: Australia vs South Africa 3rd Test Preview and Prediction: South Africa eye historic whitewash

In the afternoon, South Africa won the toss and chose to bat in the day-night third Test against Australia at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday. South Africa, looking to win the series 3-0, made one change with spinner Tabraiz Shamsi making his Test debut in place of Keshav Maharaj. Australia’s fifth Test defeat in a row, after losing 3-0 in Sri Lanka in July and August, has left them on the brink of their first-ever home Test series whitewash.

Jackson Bird was preferred to Adelaide-based Chadd Sayers as Australia’s third pace bowler in a much-changed side with under-pressure spinner Nathan Lyon holding on to his place as five changes were made.

Brief Scores:

South Africa 89 for 3 (Stephen Cook 40*, Faf du Plessis 26*; Josh Hazlewood 2 for 19) vs Australia