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3 March, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 3 March, 2018 01:07:53 AM
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Aussies in advantageous position against SA

AFP
Aussies in advantageous position against SA
Australian batsman Mitchell Marsh returns to the dressing room after missing his third century by four runs on the second day of the first Test match against South Africa at The Kingsmead Stadium in Durban yesterday. AFP photo

AFP,  DURBAN: Mitchell Marsh hit 96 and Nathan Lyon took two wickets in his first over to give Australia the advantage on the second day of the first Test against South Africa at Kingsmead on Friday.

South Africa were 55 for three at tea in reply to Australia's first innings of 351.

Marsh, with some aggressive support from Mitchell Starc, was mainly responsible for Australia's last three wickets adding 100 runs.

He looked set for a third Test century in four matches until he drove Vernon Philander to mid-on, where Morne Morkel, South Africa's tallest fielder, leapt to take the catch.

South African left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj took five for 123 and there was more success for slow bowling when Australian captain Steve Smith brought on off-spinner Lyon as early as the eighth over.

Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram had put on 27 for the first wicket and were looking reasonably comfortable. But Elgar stretched forward to Lyon's second delivery and pushed back a return catch to the bowler off a leading edge.

Two balls later Hashim Amla was out for nought, caught off bat and pad at short leg by Cameron Bancroft.

Australia struck again in the last over before tea when Markram fended a short ball from Pat Cummins straight to Bancroft, who made his second catch at short leg.

Marsh, who had batted cautiously to be on 60 not out off 147 balls at lunch, added another 36 runs off only 26 balls after the interval. He hit 13 fours and a six.

Starc hit 35 off 25 balls to provide a momentum shift for Australia before being bowled by Maharaj in the last over before lunch. Earlier, the tourists added 75 runs for the loss of three wickets in 25.4 overs during the morning.

The strongly-built Marsh hit eight boundaries in his half-century but it took him 125 balls and more than three hours to reach only his fifth score of 50 or more in 25 Test matches. By lunch he had faced 147 balls.

The left-handed Starc broke a pattern of tight bowling and attritional cricket by going for his shots.

He hit four fours and two sixes in a 25-ball innings which threatened to tilt the odds in Australia's favour before opting for defence as lunch loomed, then being bowled by a ball from Maharaj which spun between bat and pad.

In what could be a foretaste of bouncer battles to come, Starc and his fellow fast bowler Pat Cummins received several short-pitched deliveries from South Africa's fast men.

Starc's second boundary came when he gloved a bouncer from Morne Morkel over the slip cordon.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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