Aussies rip through Proteas’ top order on opening day

Perth, November 3

Australia ripped through South Africa’s top order in the first hour, dismissed the tourists for 242 by tea and reached 105 without loss at close on the back of some Dave Warner fireworks on the opening day of the first Test on Thursday.

Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma scored battling half centuries for South Africa after they were reduced to 32-4 but there was no doubt the standout performers on the first day of the Australian cricketing summer were wearing baggy green caps.

Left-arm quick Mitchell Starc, playing with an open wound on his leg after a nasty training accident that disrupted his preparations, struck in the first over and ended up with figures of 4-71.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat, they were soon reeling as Starc, Hazlewood and later Peter Siddle illustrated the WACA pitch was going to offer the traditional pace and bounce noticeably absent last year when West Indies visited.

Opener Stephen Cook and Hashim Amla both departed without a run on the board, while Dean Elgar eked out 12 runs and JP Duminy 11 before they were sent packing. Faf du Plessis scored 37 in a partnership of 49 with Bavuma, who then put together another of 71 with De Kock after his captain had been dismissed in the second over after lunch.

The diminutive Bavuma hit seven fours before he was dismissed by spinner Nathan Lyon for 51-2 deliveries after reaching his third test half century, a diving Shaun Marsh diving low to scoop up the bat-pad catch.

De Kock continued his impressive one-man rearguard action and hit 11 fours and one huge six in his 84 but once he departed with a mistimed slap to Shaun Marsh at midwicket off Hazlewood, the end of the South Africa innings was in sight.