Innings end Australia 351 (M Marsh 96, Smith 56, Warner 51, Maharaj 5-123, Philander 3-59) v South Africa
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Mitchell Marsh fell four short of what could have been his second Test hundred in consecutive innings as Australia were dismissed for 351 on the second day at Kingsmead. Keshav Maharaj finished the innings with a five-wicket haul when he induced Nathan Lyon into a miscue that skied out towards cover, after the Australians had added 51 for the loss of their final two wickets after the lunch break.
Marsh struck 13 fours and one six, but also showed impressive patience during his 173-ball stay, and he looked set to become the first centurion of the series. However, eyeing a boundary to complete the hundred, he tried to clear mid-on off the bowling of Vernon Philander but picked out the tallest man in South Africa’s side, Morne Morkel, who thrust his long arms above his head to pluck the catch. Had Temba Bavuma been fit and fielding there, Marsh might had his century.
Still, his efforts ensured Australia posted a competitive total after they went to stumps at 225 for 5 on the first evening, following Steven Smith’s decision to bat first. Marsh put together a series of partnerships that frustrated South Africa – 60 with Tim Paine, 49 with Mitchell Starc and 41 with Lyon – though in the end it was he who was left frustrated by his dismissal.
Starc had provided an entertaining cameo of 35 from 25 deliveries, clubbing two sixes over deep midwicket off Maharaj and striking four fours, including three in one Morkel over, before he was bowled by Maharaj from what became the final ball before lunch. Pat Cummins had fallen in similar fashion, bowled through the gate by Maharaj, though after an innings very different from that of Starc – Cummins occupied the crease for 38 balls for his 3 runs.
The day started with Marsh and Paine at the crease, but the second new ball soon accounted for Paine, who was lured into an edge behind on 25 by Kagiso Rabada. Rabada finished with 2 for 74, an analysis that didn’t quite capture how well he bowled at times, fast and always threatening.