South African batsman AB de Villiers plays a shot during play on the second day two of the first Test cricket match between South Africa and Australia at The Kingsmead Stadium in Durban on March 2, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / MARCO LONGARI
South African batsman AB de Villiers plays a shot during play on the second day two of the first Test cricket match between South Africa and Australia at The Kingsmead Stadium in Durban on March 2, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / MARCO LONGARI

Durban : Mitchell Starc proved why he is looked at as the spearhead of the Australian bowling attack against South Africa at the Kingsmead here on Friday. With a brilliant and hostile bowling spell (10.4/3/35/5) he reduced the Proteas to a mere 162 in their first innings. Nathan Lyon (16/3/50/3) supported him while the lone batting star for the hosts was AB De Villiers who remained unconquered on 71. With three days of cricket remaining and a lead of 189 runs in hand, Australins have been in a very strong position at stumps on Day 2 of first Test match.

Earlier, 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 at Tea.

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.

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