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Starc five-fer help Australia gain massive 189-run first innings lead

Australia celebrates the wicket of South Africa's Morne Morkel.
Australia celebrates the wicket of South Africa's Morne Morkel.
©REUTERS/Rogan Ward

Australia 351 (Mitchell 96) v
South Africa 162 (Starc 5-34)
First Test, Durban, day two

After a determined 96-run knock from Mitchell Marsh helped Australia post 351 runs, a five-wicket haul from Mitchell Starc proved vital in the visitors dismissing South Africa for 162 runs at stumps on day two of the first Test in Durban.

Dean Elgar (7) and Aiden Markram (32) started the innings positively scoring 27 runs in the first seven overs. Nathan Lyon (3-50) was introduced early in the innings and in his first over, he had both Elgar and Hashim Amla (0) dismissed.

AB de Villiers (71 not out) looked positive from the outset but at the stroke of tea, Pat Cummins (1-47) had Markram caught at short leg and South Africa headed into the final session with a score of 55 for three.

With Australia looking to dominate, de Villiers and skipper Faf du Plessis (15) decided to counterattack and shared 37 runs between them before Starc (5-34) produced one of the finest spell of reverse swing that saw du Plessis, Theunis de Bruyn (6), Vernon Philander (8), Kagiso Rabada (3) and Morne Morkel (0) dismissed.

De Villiers, who waged a lone fight completed an 81-ball fifty and had overall 11 boundaries scored in his unbeaten 127-ball knock but regular fall of wickets at the other end meant, South Africa were bowled out for 162, thereby conceding a 189-run first innings lead to Australia.

Earlier, Australia resumed the day with a score of 225 for five. Tim Paine (25) and Pat Cummins (3) fell early in the day but Mitchell (96) shared a 43 and a 41 run stand with Starc (35) and Lyon (12) respectively to help them post 351 runs before they were dismissed.

Maharaj (5-123) was the pick of the South Africa bowlers with a five-wicket haul while Vernon Philander (3-59) had three to his name.

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