Published: Wed, March 07, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Starc dominated Proteas single handly, Australia won by 118 runs

Starc dominated Proteas single handly, Australia won by 118 runs

South Africa had their backs against the wall when their second innings got underway during the first sessions of day four.

Mitchell Starc's play against South Africa's last batsmen was the crucial difference between the teams, South African captain Faf du Plessis said after Australia wrapped up a 118-run win on the fifth day of the first Test on Monday.

Quinton de Kock, 81 not out, will resume on strike, meaning Starc may wait and hope for the second over for the prospect that he will be able to charge in at No.11 Morne Morkel with a brand new ball.

The video ends with Warner being held back by Khawaja, Steve Smith, Tim Paine and Nathan Lyon as de Kock walks through the Aussie team, presumably on his way to the South African dressing room.

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Australia posted a total of 227 in their second-innings, to set up a massive 417-run target for South Africa. During their last visit to the Rainbow Nation, Australia lacked a lethal reverse swing exponent and South Africa were quick to prepare a surface that negated the pace and bounce of Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle, but they would have learnt Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins are a different kettle of fish.

"He's such a risky, fast, left-arm bowler that it's a delight to have him in your team".

The Paine and Marsh combination opened up an end for Starc, who threatened to bring the match to the swiftest of finishes with three wickets in a single over before poor light forced the use of spin for the final 40 minutes. It might be time to trust their batting on a seaming deck and back the likes of Philander to outdo the Australian pacers and trust the formidable batting of De Villiers, Amla and Du Plessis. "The tail is going to have to scrap, and the top seven or eight batters will have to take responsibility because it's a little easier for us".

FORMER Australian opener Simon Katich has backed Mitchell Marsh to be a future Test captain if he continues on his current upward trajectory.

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Looking overall at the match, Paine said an even contribution across the team had been a major positive, even if it will not go down as one of Australia's better batting performances.

The call on the light also meant Starc couldn't push for his 10th wicket of the match after his 5-34 in the first innings set up Australia.

"If anything he just picked the longest man on the field", Graeme Smith said. "The ball started reversing inside 20 overs in the first innings, which you don't see too often, but it was a very abrasive surface". He is certain not to play in Port Elizabeth, where a searing reverse-swinging spell helped South Africa beat Australia in 2014 to level the series 1-1, so the hosts will have to find another way. "It showed the character in the side", Markram said.

Chasing anything above 400 in the fourth innings in one of the toughest tasks in Test cricket. "I think it's always a chance when you're up to the stumps".

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Warner appeared to sledge both de Villiers and Markram, presumably over their running between the wickets. Australia were trying to make sure that was something weighing on his shoulders. To get through that says a lot about a young guy, the belief that he has in himself.

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