The Proteas need to get David Warner in the morning session to prevent Australia from running away with the first Test.
If you read the stats it can hardly come as a surprise as to how well Warner did with the 21 overs Australia were given to bat in the evening session on day one.
The 30-year-old left-hander went into this match boasting an average of 95.85 at the Waca in Perth, and 68.08 against the Proteas. It’s phenomenal reading, and it looks set to get considerably better, as he will walk out for day two on 73 off just 62 balls, as he eyes a 17th Test century, and an incredible fifth in 12 innings against South Africa.
It’s easy (for the hosts) to forget that he was let off the hook when he was on 17. Vernon Philander went upstairs to appeal an lbw decision against Warner, and replays suggested it would have been hitting. The only problem is, umpire Aleem Dar didn’t notice that Philander had actually bowled a no ball.
That was as close as it got for the tourists. Dale Steyn is bowling with some real venom, but he has yet to ‘cut off the snake’s head’, as he put it, leading up to the match. Kagiso Rabada has struggled to find his rhythm, and despite coming close, Philander hasn’t provided much of a threat. Debutant Keshav Maharaj, who bowled two expensive overs on Thursday, has an important day ahead.
It’s still early days, but the morning session will be a big one for the Proteas, as Australia are already 105-0, with Shaun Marsh accompanying Warner on 29 not out. They only trail by 137 runs in response to the 242 all out. The hosts are in the pound seat. Can the Proteas rally back?
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