Mitchell Marsh 96 leads Australia to 351

Lawrence Cooper
March 3, 2018

With no assistance for the bowlers from a slow surface, South Africa bowled with discipline to keep the batsmen in check.

AUSTRALIA XI: David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith (c), Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine (wk), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon.

South Africa had taken the second new ball early in the morning session and took only moments to inflict damage with it.

"I like to go under the radar".

Warner said after the first day's play that any total over 300 would be considered "a crucial lead".

On getting Smith, Maharaj said: "To gain the reward is a nice feeling".

Nearly as if he was mounting an argument for his reinstatement at No.8, Starc then thrashed the first six of the match, leaving a ball from Maharaj on the grass bank beyond the midwicket fence.

South Africa had burned both reviews early and replays showed that had it been reviewed the decision would have been overturned.

You look back at the Shield [runs] he scored against us [New South Wales] at Hurstville, one of the best innings I've seen from him to date.

Smith's partnership with Warner was worth 56 after Australia started slowly and were 15-1 and 39-2.

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In between the DRS drama, Bancroft was dismissed for five, caught behind off the metronomic Philander after taking two steps towards the bowler, a proactive move he had practiced in the nets but one that didn't pay off in his maiden Test innings on foreign soil.

In a Test match in Bangladesh in 2006, immediately after another series in South Africa, Gilchrist was heard extolling the virtues of numerous Cricket Australia and personal sponsors.

The West Australian survived a testing examination from Kagiso Rabada, although he offered a sharp return catch on 42 that the speedster was unable to snatch in his follow through.

Warner was caught off a flying outside edge to AB de Villiers at slip on the last ball before lunch, giving Philander his second wicket of the session and South Africa the first momentum of the first South Africa-Australia four-test series in almost half a century.

It was unfortunate that less than 4,000 people were at Kingsmead for the opening skirmish of this series, which doesn't involve top-ranked India yet feels like a battle between the best teams in the world.

A small sample size, no doubt, but for South Africa, against a player who has otherwise appeared near unstoppable, it is something. "I wouldn't say it was a protest, I'd say it was a great opportunity to give our sponsors a bit of a plug".

"Probably hit a lot of cricket balls the last three days".

Australia picked up wickets at regular intervals through the afternoon with only the opener Aidan Markram (32) and Quinton de Kock (20) offering serious support to De Villiers. That recovery was down to the late-order runs that Marsh oversaw. A thin edge deflected up off de Kock's gloves and was caught easily by de Villiers at slip.

Mitchell Marsh said the tactic was more of a joke than a protest, before repeating it in the press conference.

De Villiers said that his plan was to bat for as long as possible.

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