Josh Hazlewood’s four wickets has left the Proteas struggling on 165-7 going into the final session on day one in Adelaide.
The first session belonged to Australia and now they take that honour in the second too. They have their paceman Hazlewood to thank for both, who has found the edge of four South African batsmen.
Faf du Plessis, who was booed as he strode out to the crease in the morning in Adelaide, received a polite applause when he reached his half-century. A competitive first-innings total relies on him now, as he goes into the evening session on 65.
The tourists went into tea on 89-3, but that quickly became 95-4. Stephen Cook looked extremely uncomfortable throughout his 40 and eventually he caved into the pressure, falling to the pace of Mitchell Starc for the third time in this series as he stuck his bat out, only for it to go to skipper Steve Smith in the slips.
Jackson Bird then got in on the act, as he got his medium pace to move off the surface just enough to find Temba Bavuma’s edge for eight.
The introduction of Quinton de Kock naturally saw the runs flow as Du Plessis appeared to have found a willing partner. Hazlewood has found the right areas all day, and De Kock would be his next victim for a 33-ball 24.
Then came a controversial moment in the match, as Vernon Philander was deemed to have nicked an inside edge through to Matthew Wade. He appealed immediately, and with nothing showing on hot spot it looked like he was going to be safe. A slight spike on snicko however was enough for third umpire Aleem Dar to send him back. It looked to be a bit trigger happy from Dar, however, for the spike didn’t show in the middle of the snickometer.
That now leaves the South Africans in a bit of bother going into the evening session. Kyle Abbott (1) will try to hang around long enough to give Du Plessis the chance to work his way towards a century, but the bowlers, led by Hazlewood, have been asking questions of the batsmen all day.
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