Proteas end strong, despite losing wickets late on day one

Lawrence Cooper
April 1, 2018

Aiden Markram scored his second century of the series as he laid the flawless foundation for the South Africa to start their quest to win their first home Test series victory against Australia since unity at the Wanderers Stadium on Friday.

The Proteas' lower order has held it together well as the Aussies have struggled to take the last few wickets to finish off the innings. The fallout of the ball-tampering chaos was at its worst on the fourth day of the Cape Town Test, and ensuing incidents seemed to have only worsened Australia's morale in Johannesburg. It left South Africa at 384 for 7, but by the lunch break Philander and Bavuma had ensured no further loss for South Africa.

Usman Khawaja made 53 before he became Philander's third victim (3-17) and troubled Australia collapsed to 6-110 at stumps - trailing by 378 - and looking set to suffer a 3-1 series defeat a week on from the Newlands debacle.

Former Australia vice-captain David Warner apologised in tears Saturday for his role in ball-tampering but said he may appeal his 12-month ban in the latest emotional public appearance over the scandal.

South Africa celebrate after taking the wicket of Australia all-rounder Mitchell Marsh in the final test, at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.

Batsmen Peter Handscomb, Matthew Renshaw and Joe Burns were returning to the team as a result of the scandal. De Villiers's rich vein of form continued, with his batting one of the prettier things to come from an ugly series.

The controversial tour looks to be coming to a meek end for the visitors in a game they need to win to share the series and their new captain Tim Paine (five) and Pat Cummins (seven) will resume on the third day facing a daunting task.

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But De Villiers and Bavuma steadied the innings again with a fifth-wicket partnership of 52, before two late wickets lifted Australia at the Wanderers.

Temba Bavuma made 95 not out after he and Quinton de Kock fought their way through a testing early period against a ball that was nearly new in gloomy conditions.

Burns was caught by a diving Faf du Plessis at second slip off Kagiso Rabada, while the other two fell off successive balls from Vernon Philander.

Sayers, Handscomb and Renshaw all took catches.

What followed was a week where players, coaches and backroom staff members were interviewed intensively by Cricket Australia and ICC integrity officers over how much they knew about the ball tampering.

Warner, a dynamic batsman but a divisive figure in the game, was charged by Cricket Australia with developing the plot and telling Bancroft to carry it out.

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