South Africa v Australia in brief:
· Proteas’ shock start
· Century partnership
· Late losses
South Africa recovered from a nightmare start only to lose a couple of late wickets to finish at 5-214 at stumps of the first day of the second Test in Port Elizabeth.
South Africa’s top order got off to a shaky start when Ryan Harris dismissed captain Graeme Smith leg before wicket on the final ball of the fourth over, shortly before Mitchell Johnson took a meaningful first wicket of the Test.
Johnson remarkably collected his 50th wicket since re-joining the Test side ahead of the Ashes series at home in December and January, 37 of which came against a hapless England in Australia’s 5-0 sweep.
Stranded at 2-11 with another collapse at the hands of Australia’s speed attack on the cards, Faf du Pleiss and Dean Elgar steadied the ship to combine for a century partnership.
Du Pleiss eventually fell, leaving for 55 on the first ball after drinks, caught from a Nathan Lyon off spinner by Steve Smith.
AB de Villiers and Elgar looked set to see out the post tea session until the latter was again nabbed by Lyon, caught by Harris for 83 attempting to play a big shot over the top.
The Aussies weren’t done- some late overs from Steve Smith resulted in the dismissal of Quinton de Kock, who was caught for just seven by substitute Moises Henriques.
Lyon’s two wickets came from 23 overs at the cost of just 47 runs while Ryan Harris bowled 18 overs for 36 runs, Johnson 15 for 44 and Peter Siddle no wicket from 22 overs at the cost of 61 runs.
South Africa made three changes heading into the opening day; Alviro Petersen, Robin Peterson and Ryan McLaren from the side smashed by Australia in Centurion last week with Dean Elgar, de Kock and Wayne Parnell.