New look Australia reduce South Africa to 89-3
ADELAIDE (Reuters) - Australia made a solid start to the day-night third test against South Africa by reducing the tourists to 89 for three at the end of the first session on Thursday.
Opener Stephen Cook, who was recalled to the crease when he was dismissed off a no-ball with four runs on the board, will resume on 40 not out, already his best innings of the series.
Faf du Plessis, leading the tourists despite being found guilty of ball-tampering on Tuesday, was booed by sections of the crowd when he came out to bat but reached tea unbeaten on 26.
The much-changed Australia side featuring three new caps is looking to avoid a first ever 3-0 home series defeat against a Proteas team playing its first pink ball test.
If captain Steve Smith was hoping the new era of Australian test cricket would end his run of five tests without winning the toss he was to be disappointed, however.
Du Plessis won it and sent his openers in to face Australia's pace attack, the one area of the home team that has not embarrassed itself in humiliating defeats in the first two tests in Perth and Hobart.
Spearheads Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood duly delivered with the wickets of Dean Elgar, Hashim Amla and JP Duminy, all for five runs, inside the first 40 minutes.
Starc made a false start, though, when he trapped Cook leg before only for the TV replay to show the left-armer had overstepped the mark.
There was no mistake a couple of overs later when Starc produced a similarly pacy delivery which swung away late, caught the outside edge of Elgar's bat and flew to Usman Khawaja in the cordon.
On the half-hour mark, Hazlewood got into the act with the key wicket of Amla, a fullish delivery catching a good nick off the bat and taken comfortably at first slip by debutant Matt Renshaw.
A change of ends for the big paceman and a bit of inswing brought the third wicket with Duminy's inside edge going through to Matt Wade, recalled in place of Peter Nevill, behind the stumps.
(Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)