March 18, 2018

Snapshot for day 4 of the first Test

06 March 2018, 04:52 | Randolph Howard

Marsh and Lyon script their Second Act

Mitchell Marsh falls agonisingly short of century in first Test against South Africa

Former South African cricket captain Graeme Smith has called David Warner a fool while adding Nathan Lyon may regret his unnecessary celebration following AB de Villiers' run out in the Kingsmead Test.

Aiden Markram (143) and Theunis de Bruyn survived another 20 minutes before lunch, with South Africa still requiring 354 runs to win.

South African assistant coach Malibongwe Maketa said South Africa's bowlers had shown improvement on their first innings performance. They puffed out their young chests, dared Mitchell Starc and the rest to give them their best and, for three wonderful hours, fought Aussie fire with Protea fire.

Bancroft made his first fifty since he scored 82 not out on debut against England in Brisbane in November.

Marsh, with some aggressive support from Mitchell Starc, was mainly responsible for Australia's last three wickets adding 100 runs. But he went on to make an impressive 53 off 83 balls with ten fours before he was stumped off Maharaj. The score 351 runs in first innings was not very impressive but seems good. He meant to be more aggressive when batting with the tailenders but lost the strike and could only add one run as the last five wickets fell for 12 runs. In addition to his contribution with the bat, Starc was all pumped up with the ball. It's more trying to keep it [wrist] upright when the ball is new and trying to swing it naturally.

The remarkable run of Hazlewood having the wood over Amla began last summer when he claimed his wicket five times over five innings in the three-Test series. He applied himself beautifully leaving the good balls and lashing out at the bad ones.

Bancroft and Warner put together a 56-run opening stand, playing with positive intent before Warner played a mistimed pull to substitute fielder Wiaan Mulder off Rabada. Hence, they were bowled out for just 227 in the second innings.

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With light being a concern, Australia delayed the use of the second new ball and continued with the spinners and when the score was 293 for nine, the officials made a decision to take the players off the field. He went through a tough stage through the one-dayers against India. The players are exhausted both physically and mentally and it is too much for an asking.

Only Jacques Kallis‚ who featured in 15‚ has been a victim more often in a South Africa shirt.

Warner eventually continues on to the Aussie dressing room after giving de Kock a final spray. They showed some extraordinary grit to drive South Africa closer to the target.

For all the elegance he showed‚ the essence of Markram's innings was captured in consecutive deliveries bowled to him by Pat Cummins‚ the fifth and sixth he faced after reaching his century. However, yet again, it was the "Mitchell" brothers who applied brakes on the Proteas innings.

Contests between the sides have produced no shortage of incredible finishes and anticipation was building that another thriller could be on the cards prior to Markram's dismissal.

Morkel (three for 42), who has announced that he will retire from all worldwide cricket after the four-match series, produced some excellent deliveries on a slow wicket at Kingsmead as he took his tally of Test wickets to 297.

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