South Africa made a major breakthrough just before lunch on day one of the first Test when they removed David Warner for 51 to leave Australia at 95-3.
It was a good end to a laboured session by the Proteas, who saw captain Steve Smith and Warner put together 56 for the third wicket.
Warner was Vernon Philander’s second wicket on the day, having earlier removed opener Cameron Bancroft for five.
A slow wicket was expected for Durban, and in his comments ahead of the game, captain Faf du Plessis had suggested spinner Keshav Maharaj would bowl a lot of overs on his home ground.
But it was the seamers who made the early breakthrough, with Philander and Kagiso Rabada removing Bancroft and Usman Khawaja.
The Proteas had earlier lost both referrals in the first 61 balls of the game when Du Plessis had opted to go upstairs after close lbw shouts by Morne Morkel and Maharaj were not given. The ball was going down leg-side in both instances.
South Africa made their first breakthrough when Bancroft got an outside edge to a Philander ball that was pitching outside off and was caught by the returning Quinton de Kock.
Rabada joined the attack, and immediately struck for the home side when he produced the perfect line that found Khawaja’s outside edge to De Kock for just 15 runs, which brought captain Smith to the middle.
South Africa then found themselves on the back foot as Smith and Warner looked to rebuild the Australian innings.
Rabada and Maharaj could do very little as the two put on 50 runs for the third wicket. At the same time, Warner reached his 28th Test half-century.
But the runs slowed down for the visitors when Du Plessis reintroduced Morkel and Philander to the attack.
The Proteas made the big breakthrough with the last ball of the first session when Warner fended a short-pitched delivery from Philander to AB de Villiers in the slips to leave the Australians on 95-3.
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