Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis gave Australia a lesson in batting on the opening day of the Brisbane Test match but the home team will take some heart from a tough day.
We’ll bring you the live scores and commentary of the action throughout the first Test match, with the match starting at 10.30am AEDT on Saturday.
First, though, the South African batting. It was a no-nonsense affair, from three batsmen whose demeanour from their art usually exudes calmness.
Calm they were and half-centuries for all three of them ensured that the first day of such a high-profile series belonged totally to South Africa.
And Australia will need to contend with Amla and Kallis again on the second morning when play hopefully resumes at the Gabba, with the weather forecast being a concern.
Alviro Petersen’s 64 was an almost chanceless innings that laid the foundation for Amla and Kallis to exploit later. A close lbw shout went against Australia on the DRS thanks to a minor tweak in the rules but that aside Petersen looked good to bat out the day.
While he fell to a surprising rush of blood against Nathan Lyon, Amla and Kallis were stubborn in their resistance for most part of the day. Both gave chances for the bowler Peter Siddle, but neither were taken.
Kallis’ swivel-pull landed into the eager hands of mid-off but the third umpire ruled it a no-ball. Later Amla drove one back to the bowler but a relatively easy catch was spilled was Siddle.
From Australia’s perspective, they were not totally shut out by the Kallis-Amla partnership. The aforementioned chances will give them hope, as will the fact that the South African batting will be shortened because of the unfortunate achilles injury to JP Duminy just minutes after the day’s play.
To give Australia a chance in the match, the bowlers must return back to the habits that saw them trounce the Indians last season.
Bowling fuller will reap dividends, even against the pedigree of Kallis and Amla, but the trio of Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus and James Pattinson will need to be more consistent.
Else, weather permitting, Australia could be in for another long day in the field.
We will bring you the coverage throughout the game from the Gabba in Brisbane and hope to receive your opinions as the action unfolds.