Test evenly poised af­ter SA fight­back

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS -

PERTH, Aus­tralia (AP): SOUTH AFRICA staged a re­mark­able come­back and shrugged off the loss of fast bowler Dale Steyn to in­jury in the first cricket Test at the WACA yes­ter­day. Af­ter Aus­tralia’s open­ers piled up 158-0, swing bowlers Ver­non Phi­lan­der (4-56) and Kasigo Rabada (2-78), and left arm spin­ner Ke­shav Mahraj (3-56) ex­posed the vul­ner­a­bil­ity of the Aus­tralian bat­ting to dis­miss the host for 244 runs. South Africa were bowled out for 242 af­ter win­ning the toss and bat­ting first on the open­ing day.

The visi­tors were in trou­ble at 45-2 in the sec­ond in­nings af­ter los­ing opener Stephen Cook (12) and Hashim Amla (1). But opener Dean El­gar (46 not out) and JeanPaul Du­miny (34 not out) guided South Africa to 104-2 at the close, a lead of 102 runs.

Mahraj bowled with guile and con­trol to claim the wick­ets of skip­per Steve Smith, Peter Nevill and Mitchell Starc.

Aus­tralia lost ten for 86 be­fore and af­ter lunch fol­low­ing an ag­gres­sive stand be­tween David Warner (97) and Shaun Marsh (63).

Warner was rac­ing to­wards his 17th ca­reer cen­tury when he pushed at a de­liv­ery from Steyn away from the body and was caught by first slip Amla.

Warner’s dis­missal trig­gered a top-order col­lapse as Aus­tralia lost Us­man Khawaja (4), Smith (0), and Marsh in the space of 23 runs be­fore lunch.

Khawaja was yorked by Rabada, and two overs later, Mahraj dis­missed Smith leg be­fore wicket for his maiden Test wicket.

Soon af­ter dis­miss­ing Warner, Steyn left the field. Ma­haraj com­pleted Steyn’s un­fin­ished over and in his very next over trapped Smith, who un­suc­cess­fully re­viewed the on-field de­ci­sion.

“Los­ing nine for 80 is dis­ap­point­ing in any con­text in this game,” Warner lamented. “I ac­cept re­spon­si­bil­ity as well as a top order bat­ter. We al­ways talk about one guy go­ing on and get­ting a big hun­dred.”

Steyn was taken to a nearby hos­pi­tal for scans and was di­ag­nosed with a rare bone stress which may force him out of the game for at least six months, ac­cord­ing to team of­fi­cials. Steyn will re­turn home at the end of the first Test.

FILE

David Warner ... made 97.

AP

South Africa’s Dale Steyn.

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