The South African bowling attack fired to dismiss Australia for a paltry 209 on day one of the third Test.
The Aussies survived a few lbw shouts early on, and debutant Imraan Khan dropped Simon Katich to allow the openers to surpass the 50-mark. Paul Harris, however, had Phil Hughes trapped in front shortly after while captain Ricky Ponting followed after nicking Albie Morkel to Mark Boucher.
Dale Steyn struck twice after lunch removing the dangerous pair of Mike Hussey and Michael Clarke. The tourists enjoyed a fifth-wicket revival through Katich and Brad Haddin, but when Katich top-edged Harris to mid-wicket, the steady slide resumed.
Mitchell Johnson provided some resistance with a knock of 35, but it was the Proteas’ bowlers that owned the final two sessions. Steyn picked up his fourth when he induced an edge off Bryce McGain. At 209 all out, the Aussies had underperformed to a telling degree.
The first day hardly buzzed with intensity, and although the South Africans may be playing for pride, the fixture is about as competitive as any dead rubber. The Proteas threw away several simple chances in the field and should have skittled the Aussies for even less.
Having already won the series, the tourists don’t appear to be too concerned with letting this one slip. Their shot selection said as much – it was not a batting display that smacked of concentration and determination.
South African openers Ashwell Prince and Khan batted well to see out the day, and providing they see off the first few overs of day two without incident, the Proteas could rack up a substantial first innings lead.
Australia 209 (1st innings)
Simon Katich 55, Brad Haddin 42, Dale Steyn 4-56, Paul Harris 3-34.
South Africa 57-0 (1st innings)
Ashwell Prince 37*, Imraan Khan 15*.
South Africa trail by 152 runs.
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