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Cummins lead Australia fightback after Markram brilliance

Aiden Markram celebrating his century in Johannesburg
Aiden Markram celebrating his century in Johannesburg

South Africa 313-6 (Markram 152) v Australia
Fourth Test, Johannesburg, day one

Aiden Markram registered his career highest score of 152 but Australia made a brief comeback with a three-wicket haul from Pat Cummins to restrict South Africa to 313 for six at stumps on day one of the fourth Test in Johannesburg.

South Africa won the toss and decided to bat first. They retained the same line up while Australia drafted in Joe Burns, Matt Renshaw and Peter Handscomb while Chad Sayers made his debut replacing injured Mitchell Starc.

Dean Elgar (19) started the proceedings with a first-ball boundary while Markram (152) hit two more in the third over. Sayers (2-64) was extremely tight but the South African openers went on to complete a 50-run opening stand in the 17th over.

The introduction of Nathan Lyon (1-95) created doubt in Elgar, who eventually was caught at mid-on with a leading edge.

Hashim Amla (27) looked confident and even went on to complete his 1000th run in Johannesburg but it was Markram, who scored his second consecutive fifty with a six and a four as the Proteas ended the first session with a score of 88 for one.

South Africa continued to press on in the second session with Amla and Markram completing their 50-run stand in the 32nd over. The 89-run stand for the second wicket though ended when Amla edged a Cummins (3-53) delivery to the slips.

Just as the tea break was approaching, Markram completed his fourth Test century while AB de Villiers (69) survived a review for LBW as South Africa headed into the break with a score of 177 for two.

Both de Villiers and Markram kept the Australian attack at bay and in the process Australia lost both their reviews. In an eventful 70th over, de Villiers attacked Lyon and hit him for two boundaries and a six but Cummins brought Australia back into the game with the wickets of Markram and Faf du Plessis (0) in successive deliveries.

De Villiers completed his third consecutive fifty in the series but became Sayers maiden wicket when he edged one to the keeper. Sayers also accounted for Kagiso Rabada (0) but Temba Bavuma's (25 not out) resilience low down the order helped the Proteas reach 313 for six at stumps.

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