South Africa v Australia: Australia prove too strong for hosts in opening Test

Cricket
Mitchell Starc and Australia celebrate
Mitchell Starc and Australia celebrate

Paceman Mitchell Starc inspired Australia to a convincing first Test victory over South Africa in Durban.

Day four report

Footage of a heated off-the-field altercation involving David Warner and Quinton de Kock overshadowed Australia's 118-run victory over South Africa in the first Test.

The tourists required just 22 balls to snare the last Proteas wicket on the final morning to take control of the four-match series.

But the talk around Durban was of the CCTV video which emerged on Monday morning, showing Warner and De Kock involved in an angry exchange outside the dressing rooms at Kingsmead during the tea interval on day four.

Vice-captain Warner can be seen getting moved away from the incident by his team-mates on the staircase as he directed his anger towards batsman De Kock, who alongside centurion Aiden Markram was frustrating Australia with the bat.

The matter is now in the hands of the International Cricket Council, according to a Cricket Australia spokesman.

"Following the end of the second session there was an incident involving David Warner and Quinton de Kock on return to the change-rooms," the spokesman said in a statement published on CA's official website.

"The incident was discussed between the two team managers and the match referee last night and it is now in the hands of the on-field umpires and match referee.

"Both teams were reminded by the match referee of the spirit in which the game should be played."

De Kock was back in the middle at the start of day five and was the subject of an unsuccessful appeal from the opening delivery of the day, Mitchell Starc's hat-trick ball, when he was hit on the pad.

But De Kock was not so lucky shortly after as Josh Hazlewood trapped him lbw and, despite asking for a review, was given out for 83 as South Africa were dismissed for 298 in pursuit of 417.

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Josh Hazlewood of Australia celebrates the wicket of Quinton de Kock
Josh Hazlewood of Australia celebrates the wicket of Quinton de Kock

Day three report

Australia are on the verge of victory over South Africa in the First Test, even though the hosts dug in to take the match to a fifth day.

Bad light stopped the tourists one wicket from success but they will almost certainly complete the job at Durban on Monday with South Africa needing a further 124 runs.

The hosts had been set a target of 417 for victory - which would have been the second-highest successful chase in Test history - and, after they collapsed to 49 for four, it seemed like a hopeless cause.

Aiden Markram's knock of 143, his third Test century, and an unbeaten 81 from Quinton de Kock gave them hope before the former was caught by Tim Paine off the bowling of Mitch Marsh.

Mitchell Starc then ensured there would be no way back for South Africa as he dismissed Vernon Philander before rattling the stumps of Keshav Maharaj and Kagiso Rabada for successive ducks as part of a four-wicket haul.

Paceman Starc, however, was denied the chance of a hat-trick as the Rabada wicket came on the final ball of an over and the light had deteriorated to a point where the umpires would only allow play to continue if Australia bowled spin from both ends.

Nathan Lyon and Steven Smith bowled in tandem for a further nine overs but could not make the decisive breakthrough, with De Kock and Morne Morkel set to resume at the crease on Monday.

Day two report

Australia paceman Mitchell Starc claimed five wickets as South Africa were dismissed for 162 on the second day of the first Test in Durban.

Mitchell Marsh earlier made 96 as the tourists resumed on 225 for five and progressed to 351, ultimately good enough for a first-innings lead of 189.

Captain Steve Smith and opener David Warner had both scored half-centuries and Marsh, who returned to the crease unbeaten on 32, staved off the South African attack with the new ball to help the tourists reach 300 for eight by lunch.

He was not able to close out what would have been a third Test century, caught just four runs short at mid-on by Morne Morkel off Vernon Philander.

Spinner Keshav Maharaj completed a five-wicket haul on his home ground, but only after Starc had hammered 35 off 25 balls at the tail of the innings.

Spinner Nathan Lyon then made the early breakthrough before Starc did most of the damage as the Proteas lost their last seven wickets for 107 runs, AB de Villiers standing alone with a defiant 71 not out.

Lyon's second delivery saw him take a diving return catch off a leading edge from Dean Elgar, who was out for seven, and three balls later Hashim Amla was sent back without troubling the scorers after offering a bat-pad catch to Cameron Bancroft at short leg.

South Africa lost Aiden Markram for 32, a short delivery from Pat Cummins pushed up to Bancroft, to head into tea at 55 for three.

Faf du Plessis edged Starc to wicketkeeper Tim Paine and Theunis de Bruyn and Philander went the same way to the left-armer, while Quinton de Kock was bowled by Lyon for 20.

Although South Africa passed the follow-on total of 151, there was to be no late reprieve.

Maharaj was bowled by Josh Hazlewood for a duck before Starc swiftly finished of the tail for figures of five for 34 in 10.4 overs, Lyon adding three for 50 as the hosts were left with it all to do to save the Test.

Day one report

Captain Steve Smith and opener David Warner scored half-centuries as Australia reached 225 for five before bad light ended the opening day of the first Test against South Africa.

Smith won the toss and decided to bat in Durban but the Proteas made an early breakthrough in the sixth over when Cameron Bancroft was out for just five, edging a short ball from Vernon Philander behind.

Usman Khawaja added 14 before he was also caught by wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock, who took a fine catch off Kagiso Rabada's bowling to leave the tourists at 39 for two in the 12th over.

Smith and Warner, though, soon steadied the ship towards lunch as the opener reached his half-century off 72 balls, with six boundaries.

However, he was out on 51 to the final delivery before the interval when a thick edge off Philander flew straight to AB de Villiers and Australia were 95 for three.

Shaun Marsh then helped Smith rebuild the innings, but had a lucky escape when an lbw appeal from Rabada was not given. South Africa had already used up their reviews, and replays showed he would have been out.

Smith too completed his half-century, from 94 deliveries with 10 fours, before being dismissed by spinner Keshav Maharaj for 56, a thin edge deflected by De Kock to De Villiers in the slips.

Steve Smith
Steve Smith

Australia were 151 for four and moved on to 170 at tea without further loss.

Maharaj sent back Shaun Marsh for 40 before younger brother Mitchell Marsh added an unbeaten 32 alongside Tim Paine (21 not out) ahead of the players being taken off for bad light at 4:30pm.

Philander finished with two for 36 from his 17 overs, while Maharaj claimed two for 69 off 24.

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