South Africa vs Australia 2018, 1st Test, Day 2: 5 things we learnt from the day
With Australia resuming at 225/5 and with only 4 overs to go before the new ball, the game was in the balance at the start of the second day’s play. Australia fought hard with Mitchell Marsh scoring a patient 96 and Mitchell Starc contributed with a quick-fire 35. Australia finished with 351 on an uncharacteristically slow Kingsmead pitch.
Keshav Maharaj was the pick of the bowlers for the Proteas as he picked up his fourth five-wicket haul in Test cricket. Australia struck early as Lyon picked up two wickets in his first over (eighth over of the innings) to send back Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla back in the pavilion. de Villiers then fought a lone battle as he battled hard to take South Africa to a respectable total. But Starc and co blew away the South African batting line-up to help Australia gain a big lead of 189.
#5 Mitchell Marsh fights but misses his century
On the first day, after Australia lost key wickets of skipper Steve Smith and Shaun Marsh on either side of the tea break, they were in a spot of bother at 177/5. However, Mitchell Marsh who had a wonderful Ashes series joined hands with Tim Paine and took the Aussies safely to stumps.
However, their challenge was to take Australia to a competitive score. But Paine was dismissed in the first over with the new ball (83rd over). South African bowlers bowled tight lines as there were no freebies on offer. But Mitchell Marsh stood tall. On a slow pitch, he was patient as he battled it out against a quality Proteas attack.
He first saw off the second new ball and then when Mitchell Starc was striking the ball well, the younger Marsh rotated the strike very well. And when Starc was out, Marsh took the onus of doing the bulk of the scoring. He started taking calculated risks and found the boundary regularly post-lunch.
Batting on 96, he tried to clear mid-on and failed, thereby missing a well-deserved ton by a whisker. Nonetheless, Marsh with the help of the lower-order took Australia to a very competitive total of 351. The last three Australian wickets added 100 runs and frustrated the Proteas as the bowlers toiled hard on a slow pitch.