That's it from the first Test match in Durban. The visitors dominated the match and deserved to get the lead in this 4-match Test series. However, the Proteas will have some positives to take and will look to come out all guns blazing in the next encounter. They have 3 days to regroup and figure out what needs to be done to beat this threatening Australian side. We need not wait longer as the second Test is not too far away. St George's Park, Port Elizabeth, is the venue for the second match between the two. Join us on 9th March, Friday at 1000 local (0800 GMT) for the coverage of that game. See you guys then. Cheers!
Steven Smith says it's a nice way to start especially against a quality opposition like South Africa. Says in the first innings, Mitchell Marsh did pretty well and the tail contributed with a 130-odd which was good. On what was more crucial, their or South Africa's first innings, states that both were tough, but winning the toss and batting was ideal. Reckons there wasn't as much spin, reverse played a part throughout though. Mentions it was a hard-fought Test match. Credits Aiden Markram for playing exceptionally well. Also applauds Mitchell Marsh for doing well, things got easier from there. Adds the new ball was probably the best time to bat, as when the ball was reversing, it got difficult to bat. Further says when they got that one wicket, they knew they could run through with Starc in their side. Opines that practice game was spot on, the guys prepared really well and it's pleasing to start the way they have. Ends by saying that South Africa are a terrific side, they've been playing well at home so have no doubt they'll be up for a fight in the next game.
Mitchell Starc says it's nice to put a few in the right spots and it's good to finish the game well and win it. Feels the ball is reversing well and it's allowing him to do well. Credits the bowling unit for collectively doing pretty well which helps him. On his technique bowling with the new and old ball, he says he's been doing it for a while now, the natural position for him is just a matter of trying to keep it upright. Adds it's a good habit to have, hopefully can keep it up for the rest of the series. Let's everybody know he's been working hard back home, so is happy to contribute with the bat and support Mitchell Marsh. On missing out on his hat-trick, he mentions he didn't mind who took the wicket, but let's everybody in on the fact that the boys were joking about taking him out of the attack since he's on a hat-trick, but it's alright.
Faf du Plessis says they were outplayed in all departments in the first innings and gave them 50 runs too many. Adds Australia's tail played well along with Mitchell Marsh which saved Australia. Rues missing out on real opportunity to close the game out. States Mitchell Starc bowled beautifully to knock the tail over. When asked about where it went wrong, he says his side definitely posted too low of a first innings total which was the problem. Continues saying the batters know they should take more responsibility as there weren't enough partnerships formed. Reckons they did good with the ball to restrict them to 200-odd in the second innings. Applauds Maharaj for doing good with the ball. Credits Markram for his knock, also de Kock too for how he played towards the end. Concedes they just didn't have enough on the whole to beat Australia. Says they want to step up in such a big series against Australia. Adds this win will give the Kangaroos a lot of confidence, but biggest strength of his team that it never gives up no matter what.
Steven Smith knew who to turn to when you've got tailenders at the crease. Starc was introduced into the attack and he struck three blows in one over, which was almost game over for the Proteas. Bad light did not allow quickies to bowl towards the end of Day 4, which meant we had to go to the last day of the match to complete the formalities. Stay tuned for the presentation...
Chasing a mammoth of total, the Proteas found themselves on the back foot as they were 49-4. De Bruyn and Markram showed some positive signs as they stitched together a 87-run partnership, but the former made way for Quinton de Kock. Markram and de Kock made look batting so easy as they got into the nerves of the visitors. At one stage, it looked like they were taking the game away from them as they scored 147 runs together. Markram got to his 3rd Test century and this one was certainly came at a time when his team needed it the most. Though, just when it was looking that the Proteas are getting back in the game, Mitchell Marsh struck a crucial blow as the only centurion was his only wicket in this match.
The Kangaroos knew that with around 200 runs on board, with all 10 wickets in hand, they just needed to add to this score put the Proteas under more pressure. Decent contributions by almost all the batters did help them set a target of 417 runs which was more than enough.
Coming into bat in the first innings, none other than the 360 degree man, AB de Villiers, stepped up for them. His knock of 71 runs did help them trail a bit lesser in the first innings as no one else contributed with the bat. Aiden Markram and Quinton de Kock did contribute, but not much as Australia took a massive lead of 189 runs.
To begin the match, the Aussies won the toss and put themselves to bat on this slow Durban track. They managed to put 351 on the board, courtesy Mitchell Marsh's 96 and fifties from David Warner and Steven Smith. They thought that this much was enough with the likes of their bowling attack.
It just took 22 deliveries for the Aussies to wrap it up and take the lead in this series. We expected such kind of a performance form the visitors and they did not disappoint us either. Unlucky that Starc missed out on his five-fer and his hat-trick too as it was Hazlewood who picked up the solitary wicket, thus picking his third scalp of the second innings.
Josh Hazlewood to Quinton de Kock
OUT! The decision stays it the favour of the Aussies and that's the match in the visitors' favour. Hazlewood lands it on a fuller length from around the wicket. De Kock goes for the slog over the leg side but misses it completely as it hits him on his pads. Instant leg before appeal goes up, the umpire signals out and it looks gone too, but for the sake of it, given it's the last wicket, de Kock reviews. The replays show three reds and AUSTRALIA WIN BY 118 RUNS AND GO 1-0 UP IN THE SERIES! An emphatic victory for them.
Review has been taken by Quinton de Kock for an LBW decision which is given out. Is it the match for the Aussies?
Josh Hazlewood to Morne Morkel
Morkel opens his account. He opens the face of the bat and guides it towards the vacant third man area to pick up three runs.
Lucky to not get an edge on that one. Hazlewood bowls a length ball just outside off, Morkel tries to heave it over mid off but misses it completely.
Played towards the deep point fielder for a single. Morkel to face the remaining five deliveries. Will he survive?
Mitchell Starc to Morne Morkel
Played towards the fine leg area. Single was on offer but de Kock decides against it as he wants to keep the strike for the next over.
Tailing in towards the batsman but way too full and outside off. Morkel could leave such deliveries all day long.
Morkel leaves a full delivery outside off.
Mitchell Starc to Quinton de Kock
First runs of the day. Quinton drives it to covers and calls his partner immediately for a couple. But to his dismay, he has timed it too well and could only pick up a run from it.
Quinton de Kock plays it to mid-wicket for yet another dot ball.