South Africa fight back, but Steyn off injured

Lunch Australia 4 for 181 (Voges 10*) trail South Africa 242 by 61 runs
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David Warner and Shaun Marsh both fell in the first session on day two © Cricket Australia/Getty Images

South Africa lost their strike weapon Dale Steyn to injury, but still managed to fight back impressively before lunch on day two at the WACA. Australia had started the morning at 0 for 105, with David Warner and Shaun Marsh well set, but neither man made it through the session, while Usman Khawaja and Steven Smith fell cheaply to leave Australia wobbling at 4 for 181 at the lunch break.

Adam Voges was on 10 and was about to be joined by Mitchell Marsh, whose brother Shaun had fallen from what turned out to be the final ball before the break. Coming around the wicket, Vernon Philander had moved a delivery back in to the left-hander, who was given lbw by umpire Nigel Llong, and asked for a futile review that only confirmed that he was plumb. Marsh had been steady in making 63, but Australia suddenly were shaky.

The action had all come in the space of 12 overs after the opening stand generated 158, with Warner more watchful than on the first evening, but still looking for all the world like he was on the way to a century. However, on 97 he dabbled outside off stump and edged a fine delivery from Steyn to Hashim Amla at slip, and it was to be the beginning of a hectic period in which Australia lost 4 for 23.

Steyn was unable to complete his next over, leaving the field with an injury to his right shoulder, but the rest of South Africa’s bowlers stood up in his absence. Kagiso Rabada produced a beautiful delivery that curved in from around the wicket and bowled Khawaja for 4, and in the next over the debutant spinner Keshav Maharaj claimed his first Test victim when he had Smith lbw for a duck.

It was quite a remarkable dismissal, for Smith was advancing down the pitch when struck on the pad, and some members of the South Africa side seemed to give only a cursory appeal. But Aleem Dar decided Smith was indeed lbw, and Smith immediately asked for a review. Replays showed the ball had struck Smith in line and would have gone on to clip the top of leg stump, and Dar’s exceedingly bold decision stood.

Australia were 3 for 167, but that became four down when Shaun Marsh fell just before the break. And with Mitchell Marsh and Peter Nevill next in, both men still trying to prove themselves as capable batsmen at Test level, there even loomed the possibility that South Africa might end up with a first-innings lead.

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Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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