, 2022-12-26 07:14:23,
On a blameless surface under the blazing Melbourne sun South Africa once again contrived to be dismissed for under 200.
After being invited to bat by Pat Cummins, in a decision that raised plenty of eyebrows, a succession of top-order batters found ways to throw their wicket away. But at 67-5 and staring at humiliation a partnership formed. Kyle Verreynne struck a classy 52, backed up by a nuggety 59 from Marco Jansen, and for a long spell in the afternoon it looked like an authentic Test match might break out amongst the crapshoot. But alas, after a stand worth 112, the final five wickets fell for ten runs in four overs.
The central protagonist in that second collapse was allrounder Cameron Green (5/27). He earned his first Test five-for by putting the old ball in the right areas often enough for the Proteas to engineer their own downfalls. It was especially timely for Australia because not long beforehand Mitchell Starc badly injured the middle finger on his bowling hand spilling a diving catch, ruling him out of the attack for the remainder of the day and possibly for much longer.
Australia’s response was always going to be about David Warner, the under-fire opener striding out in his landmark 100th Test. And he didn’t disappoint, playing with brio to remain unbeaten on 32, his side 45-1 at the close. The only wicket to fall was Usman Khawaja, who lazily edged Kagiso…
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