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South Africa vs Australia - 1st Test

Series: Australia tour of South Africa, 2018
Venue: Kingsmead, Durban
Date: 01-05 March 2018

South Africa 298/10 (92.4 Ovs) CRR: 3.22 | Australia won by 118 runs


Batsman R B 4s 6s
Aiden Markram c Paine & b Mitchell Marshc Paine & b Mitchell Marsh143218190
Dean Elgar c Paine & b Starcc Paine & b Starc92020
Hashim Amla lbw Hazlewoodlbw Hazlewood81910
AB de Villiers runout runout 0100
Faf du Plessis bowled Pat Cumminsbowled Pat Cummins4810
Theunis de Bruyn c Paine & b Hazlewoodc Paine & b Hazlewood368460
Quinton de Kock lbw Hazlewoodlbw Hazlewood83149110
Vernon Philander c Paine & b Starcc Paine & b Starc61600
Keshav Maharaj bowled Starcbowled Starc0300
Kagiso Rabada bowled Starcbowled Starc0100
Morne Morkel Not OutNot Out33800
Extras 6 (b 2, lb 3, w 0, nb 1)
Total 298 (10 Wkts, 92.4 Ov)
BowlingO M R WEcon
Mitchell Starc18 2 75 4 4.17
Josh Hazlewood15.4 2 61 3 4.07
Nathan Lyon32 7 86 0 2.69
Pat Cummins15 3 47 1 3.13
Mitchell Marsh7 2 21 1 3
Steven Smith5 3 3 0 0.6
Cameron Bancroft0 0 0 0 0
David Warner0 0 0 0 0
Usman Khawaja0 0 0 0 0
Shaun Marsh0 0 0 0 0
Tim Paine0 0 0 0 0


That's it then, folks. See ya @Port Elizabeth!

If there is one thing you need to thank Mitchell Starc for, it's that he's making lower-orders irrelevant again. He's making tailenders look like tailenders. And he's just unmatchable when he gets that old ball reversing. Port Elizabeth is known to be dry and slow too. So he'll be on the prowl again. It probably won't make it any easier for the hosts to bounce back. We'll see if they can. Their second innings performance certainly inspires a lot of belief. That's a wrap from us here. I've been Sagar Chawla, and on behalf of Srivathsa, Rishi Roy and our scorer Shashikant Singh, it's a goodbye.

A bit of number-crunching in Deepu's stats corner today,
I'm going to throw a few your way (Hey that rhymes!)
- Highest score in 4th inngs in a losing cause:
222 N Astle v Eng, 2002
192 K Sangakkara v Aus, 2007
176 B Congdon v Eng, 1973
174 D Randall v Aus, 1977
143 A Markram v Aus, 2018 (Highest among opening batsmen)
- This is SA's 6th loss in the last 8 Tests at Durban,
- and also Australia's 3rd successive win in Durban.

The bitter aftermath of insolence: A Cricket Australia spokesperson has just confirmed that the Warner-de Kock incident has been discussed by the two team managers, and is now in the hands of the on-field umpires and match referee. We should hear more later. In the meantime news has come through that Nathan Lyon has been charged over the incident that followed AB de Villiers' run-out yesterday, when he dropped the ball next to the batsman's ear while de Villiers was lying sprawled on the ground. We've received intelligence that Lyon will not contest the charge, and sought out de Villiers to apologise last night.

Smith, Australia captain: Nice way to start, particularly against a quality opposition like SA. Really pleased with the way the boys played. Marsh deserved a hundred in the first innings. Tail contributed really well. They contributed a 130-odd which was the difference in the end. Really good game of cricket. Both are tough. Winning the toss and batting was ideal, probably the best of the conditions. Reverse-swing played a part throughout the game. It probably started reversing as early as the 25th over which is rare. It was a hard-fought Test match. Aiden Markram played exceptionally well, Quinton de Kock played well. It was getting a bit nervous there. Those guys were batting really well. With Mitch Marsh breaking the partnership, it made things easier. The new ball was probably the best time to bat. We just thought if we got one wicket, the way Starc bowls to the tail, it will happen very quickly. If we hadn't come off last night, it would have been over last night itself. But it was pretty dark to be fair. Really well prepared. Our practice and our practice game before this Test match was spot on. Got our plans in place for a quality opposition. No doubt, SA are a terrific side. They play well at home. No doubt they're going to come hard against us in PE. Hopefully our boys are up for the fight again.

Mitchell Starc, MoM: Nice to put a few in the right spot. To finish off the Test match like that in four and a bit days was very pleasing. Reversing the ball is going all right. Little bit of work to do with the new ball. As a bowling unit we've been doing well. The batsmen did well in the first innings to get to 350. Could have put a bit more on in the second innings. It's a more natural wrist position for me. When it is reversing, it's natural for me. With the new ball, I've got work to do to keep the seam upright. Our group probably got stuck in two minds for the home summer. Had a couple of weeks to work on a few things. Contributing with the bat is always encouraging for the tail, that's what we showed in the first innings - to add runs with Mitch Marsh who was batting fantastically. Great contribution from the whole side. Didn't mind who took the final wicket. There was a bit of a joke among the boys that I would be taken off the attack while on a hat-trick.

Faf du Plessis, SA captain: We gave probably 50 runs too many in the first innings. Credit to their tail how they batted along with Mitch Marsh. His was a very good knock. If you look throughout the Test, both teams were around 150-160/5 in both innings. There were real opportunities for us to close it out. Mitchell Starc bowled beautifully to make sure the tail didn't get many runs. Batters need to cash in and take responsibility once they get in. There wasn't enough partnerships for us. We just didn't get enough runs in the first innings. Massive positive for us, how we came back in the second innings. When you're in a position of strength like Australia were on day 4, they generally blow you away quickly. Kesh was brilliant in this match. The character of the batters who got runs. De Bruyn and Markram were fantastic. And then Quinny there at the end. Really proud of our fight. Just not good enough to beat Australia who were good in this game. In a big series like this, you want to step up against teams like Australia. Hopefully we can all chip in now. The biggest character of this team is that we'll never go down without a fight. Looking forward to the next Test.

10:30 Local Time, 08:30 GMT, 14:00 IST: The bigger story of this match might well be about how Australia are much the superior team in such conditions. On slow pitches lacking seam movement, their bowling attack probably outshines that of the hosts comfortably, with Starc providing that X-factor and being a huge difference-maker with his reverse-swing. The general opinion is that if South Africa are to compete, they'll have to do so on seaming tracks which aid the likes of Philander and Morkel. Time for the presentations..

10:25 Local Time, 08:25 GMT, 13:55 IST: The hosts fell so far behind in the first-innings, that try as they might, they were never going to catch up. Mitchell Marsh's 96 had taken Australia to 350, which many thought was a little over par. But all that changed when Mitchell Starc let rip those reverse-swinging deliveries over 140kph and blasted South Africa out for 162. Facing a huge deficit, the Proteas rallied through a well-concerted bowling effort, and later through Markram-de Kock's tremendous fightback, but as they found out, it was a bridge too far.

10:20 Local Time, 08:20 GMT, 13:50 IST: Very mellow celebrations from Australia after some of their misdemeanours found their way into overnight headlines. But all that aside, they've been absolutely brilliant to seal the game by 118 runs. The players walk off, shake hands on the staircase and it's all well and good in the end. Lyon shook de Kock's hand after his dismissal to congratulate for a fine innings. Pity he couldn't get to his hundred, with Starc robbing him of most of his partners last evening. This is South Africa's sixth loss in Durban in the last eight Tests.

Hazlewood to de Kock, out Lbw!! Given out, that's it. Hang on just a bit though. De Kock has gone for the review. But it's just for the sake of it. He went for a big slog down the ground to an in-swinger from Hazlewood this time. It slipped past his inside-edge and crashed into his back-pad. Ball-tracking shows it to be smashing leg-stump. de Kock lbw b Hazlewood 83(149) [4s-11]

Hazlewood to de Kock, THAT'S OUT!! Lbw!!

Hazlewood to Morne Morkel, 3 runs, fullish delivery curving away from off, Morkel pokes and sends a thick outside edge through gully. Although the running isn't great, there's still enough time to come back for three
Hazlewood to Morne Morkel, no run, Morkel tries hammering this length ball down the ground, but Hazlewood's got some good shape going from round the wicket. Comfortably beats the outside edge
Hazlewood to de Kock, 1 run, single off the first ball. De Kock's quite happy to let Morkel take strike against Hazlewood. He went for a drive on the up here, but the away-swing caused the ball to be squirted off a thick edge through gully
Starc to Morne Morkel, no run, this one's at the stumps but Morkel survives again as he ekes out a thick inside edge through square leg. Won't be taking the run. If he keeps up this level of resistance, maybe de Kock could fancy a hundred here
Starc to Morne Morkel, no run, yorker length delivery well wide of off, left alone. Starc would be disappointed with this. Morkel's survived two balls against him
Starc to Morne Morkel, no run, ah, misses the target. 144kph, bowls this well wide of off, Morkel leaves
Starc to de Kock, 1 run, calls for two as he punches it wide of Warner at long-off, but it was too close to the Aussie opener. Misjudgement here from de Kock. And now Morkel's exposed to Starc. Can't see this going well
Starc to de Kock, no run, reversing in from a length at the stumps, skewed off a thick inside-edge to deep mid-wicket
Starc to de Kock, no run, swinging back into the pads, de Kock chips it in the air with his bottom hand coming off, but it lands well short of deep mid-wicket. Decides against the single
Hazlewood to Morne Morkel, no run, good length ball around off, flat-footed push to mid-off
Hazlewood to Morne Morkel, no run, short of length delivery just outside off, Morkel jumps in the crease to fend it off but the ball curves away from him to beat the edge. Credit to Morkel for not chasing it
Hazlewood to Morne Morkel, no run, hangs back to a full ball just outside off, pushed to mid-off
Hazlewood to Morne Morkel, no run, sprays it down the leg-side, probably looking for that big out-swinger but he never found it
Hazlewood to Morne Morkel, no run, slanted into the stumps, straightens just a tad, Morkel covers for it and defends
Hazlewood to Morne Morkel, no run, curls it away against the angle, full-pitched ball outside off, Morkel leans across and pushes with the swing to short cover

Josh Hazlewood [14.0-1-57-2] is back into the attack

Round the wicket comes Hazlewood

Starc to de Kock, no run, yorker length delivery just outside off, jammed to short cover. Morkel exposed now at the other end
Starc to de Kock, no run, full ball swinging in towards off, 139kph, de Kock with a closed-batted drive to mid-on
Starc to de Kock, no run, throws his bat in an attempt to drive through the covers, but the ball bends in late to beat the inside edge
Starc to de Kock, no run, full and tailing in at the stumps, de Kock squeezes it back off the inside half down the ground

Australia haven't taken the new ball, with this one doing quite a bit now in terms of reverse

Starc to de Kock, no run, another booming inswinger which crashes into de Kock's front pad as he plays across the line of it. Again, would have missed leg

Overcast skies here today morning

Starc to de Kock, no run, swings back in to hit the pad, but Starc won't get the hat-trick. It was doing too much, would have gone down leg

10:00 Local Time, 08:00 GMT, 13:30 IST: Righto, one wicket to get for Australia. Meanwhile, Starc's on a hat-trick here..

Aiden Markram: "It was quite special, but losing those wickets throughout the day was disappointing, but I was happy with the way I batted. There's a lot of experience in the side and the batting coach had given me a few tips and luckily it paid off. Could've gone either way with the ball spinning so much, but luckily things went my way today. Batting is not always about the result and QdK and I are proud of the way we batted and carried ourselves. Not in the ideal position right now and we lost those wickets in the back end so that was disappointing. Have some niggles but some ice should be good enough for that. About the single to get to my hundred, I tried to identify a fielder that was not David Warner, who is their best fielder, and luckily I managed. I'm happy with the way things went, but still three Tests to go so looking forward to it."

I don't think the broadcasters have bothered with an elaborate pitch report this morning. Graeme Smith, Allan Border and Mark Nicholas are just assessing the pitch and how it has played out until now. Slow. Fair enough.

A word from Tristan Holme in Durban: "No intervention from the weather gods this morning. It is hot and mostly sunny, and although there is some rain forecast for later in the day, Australia should have all the time they need to wrap this up."

P.S.: Mitchell Starc is on a hat-trick and on the verge of a ten-wicket maiden haul. With QdK on strike, will Smith give the ball to Starc? Or will he bring him on when Morkel is on strike to give him a better chance of taking the hat-trick? Going by the Aussie mentality, looks like they'd like to finish it off straightaway. Nice and clinical. Let's wait and watch...

9:35AM local time: Good morning and welcome to the final day's play here at Kingsmead. There are forecasts for showers but for now it looks like a fairly cloudy day, but it's certainly clear enough for one South African wicket to fall. We saw Markram and QdK begin to stage an incredible fightback, but with the wicket of Markram, the floodgates opened up for Mitchell Starc to transform into Lucifer and brutally gouge out the tail. As a result Morne Morkel and de Kock were left standing out there, stonewalling against the spin if Lyon and Smith in the twilight. Barring a miracle, I don't expect we'll be too long today. Perhaps even one ball. But then again, in cricket, you never can rule out miracles. On that note, it's Rishi Roy along with Sagar Chawla, Srivathsa and Shashikant Singh welcoming you on Academy Awards morning to a day of cricket that is likely to be more brief than the Best Actor speech. With the final moments coming up, send in your queries and/or predictions via Have Your Say on your desktops, or tweet away @_rrroy_, @shashi_CB, and @SagarChawla90. Live action coming up in a moment.


Deepu's stats corner has one more stat to offer for the day...
Highest individual scores by SA WKs in 4th innings:
103 AB de Villiers v Ind, Joburg, 2013
81* Q DE KOCK v Aus, Durban, 2018
69* Jock Cameron v Eng, Old Wanderers, 1931
60 Johnny Waite v Eng, Oval, 1955

SA batsmen bowled in each innings for a pair:
PS Twentyman-Jones, 1902/03
Bert Vogler, 1910/11
F Nicholson, 1935/36
CN McCarthy, 1948/49
Peter Heine, 1956/57
Keshav Maharaj, 2017/18


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