Saturday 18 August 2018

Warner and Smith keep Aussies in hunt

David Warner plays a forward defensive shot during the opening day of the first Test in Durban. Photo: Getty Images
David Warner plays a forward defensive shot during the opening day of the first Test in Durban. Photo: Getty Images

Captain Steve Smith and opener David Warner scored half-centuries as Australia reached 225 for five before bad light ended the opening day of the first Test against South Africa.

Smith won the toss and decided to bat in Durban but the Proteas made an early breakthrough in the sixth over when Cameron Bancroft was out for just five, edging a short ball from Vernon Philander.

Usman Khawaja added 14 before he was also caught by wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock, who took a fine catch off Kagiso Rabada's bowling to leave the tourists at 39 for two.

Smith and Warner, though, soon steadied the ship towards lunch as Warner reached his half-century off 72 balls, with six boundaries.

However, he was out on 51 to the final delivery before the interval when a thick edge off Philander flew straight to AB de Villiers and Australia were 95 for three.

Shaun Marsh then helped Smith rebuild, but he had an escape when an lbw appeal from Rabada was not given. South Africa had already used up their reviews, and replays showed he would have been out.

Smith too completed his half-century, from 94 deliveries with 10 fours, before being dismissed for 56 by spinner Keshav Maharaj, who also nabbed Marsh for 40 late on.

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport