Quinton de Kock’s 84 lifted the Proteas to 242 as the top order struggled on day one against Australia in Perth.
The Proteas will have to draw inspiration from the Waca contest four years ago, as the 225 they posted back then was eventually enough to go on and win by 309 runs.
Nevertheless, they will be disappointed with their efforts, especially at the top of the order. 242 was a reasonable effort in the end considering they were at one point on 32-4.
It took just four balls for Mitchell Starc to find the breakthrough as Stephen Cook was squared up for a duck. Hashim Amla was on the receiving end of a beauty from Josh Hazlewood three overs later, who also departed for a duck.
Dean Elgar (12) and JP Duminy (11) both feathered the edge to Peter Nevill, leaving skipper Faf du Plessis and Temba Bavuma to clean up the mess.
They did so valiantly in the morning session as Du Plessis strode to 37. He departed after the break on the same score, but Bavuma pushed on untroubled, reaching his third Test half-century in the process.
Bavuma fell to a sharp catch from Shaun Marsh at short leg two balls later, but De Kock was on hand to take the score past 200 in typically positive fashion.
Partners fell around him as he marched closer to a century, and feeling the need to step things up a notch, he hit one straight up to fall 16 runs short of the ton. Starc clean bowled Dale Steyn to take his fourth wicket, handing Australia the early advantage in this match.
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