Port Elizabeth: Kagiso Rabada roared through Australia — stoking up the animosity between the teams on the way — as South Africa bowled the tourists out for 243 on day one of the second Test on Friday.
Rabada took five wickets in the space of 18 balls in a blistering spell just before and after tea at St George’s Park, sending the Australians slumping from 161-3. They were saved from a worse fate when Tim Paine made 36 and put on 61 with Australia’s last two batsmen.
Rabada took three of his wickets in an over, and removed Australian batsmen on the last ball before tea and first ball after it, to turn the tide in the home team’s favour, who finished at 39-1, with Aiden Markram out on 11 and Dean Elgar and Rabada at bat.
The quick bowler may also have added to the ill-feeling between the teams, which came to a head with a confrontation last weekend between Australia’s David Warner and South Africa’s Quinton de Kock on a staircase near the dressing rooms in the first test at Durban.
After dismissing Steve Smith on Friday in Port Elizabeth, Rabada appeared to intentionally bump into the Australia captain with his shoulder during his follow-through. The incident has the potential to see Rabada banned, possibly for the rest of the series.
Also under scrutiny following the unsavory incident with de Kock in the first game, Warner made 63 at the top of the order only for Australia to slip up badly in the second session, when they lost five wickets for 72 having been 98-1 at lunch.
Bancroft fell on the brink of lunch for 38. Usman Khawaja (4), Warner, Smith (25), Shaun Marsh (24) and Mitchell Marsh (4) were out after lunch. Rabada came back after the break to remove Pat Cummins first ball after tea, and followed up with the wicket of Mitchell Starc for figures of 5-96.
Fellow pacemen Lungi Ngidi had three wickets and Vernon Philander two.
Australia vice-captain Warner was the centre of attention in the series opener in Durban after his ugly confrontation with South Africa’s de Kock on a staircase leading to the teams’ dressing rooms. Both players received fines and disciplinary sanctions from the International Cricket Council.
He was back in the spotlight on the first day at St George’s Park, coming through a tricky opening spell when the tourists scored just 18 runs in the first 13 overs after winning the toss and choosing to bat.
They picked off the runs after that measured start, with Warner accelerating by hitting nine fours.
South Africa made an important breakthrough when Warner, who looked in good touch, was bowled by Ngidi to follow Khawaja back to the dressing rooms after lunch.
Smith and Shaun Marsh put on 44 before Rabada’s day-changing spell. Australia went from 161-3 to 182-8 in that spell.
He had Smith and Shaun Marsh out lbw, with both failing with reviews, and Mitchell Marsh was caught behind by de Kock attempting an expansive drive at an inopportune moment just before the tea break. Cummins also edged behind and Starc was clean bowled, with Rabada aiming a comment at the Australian as he went on his way.
Four days on, the fallout from Durban and the Warner-de Kock affair continued, with Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland releasing a statement before play started in Port Elizabeth reminding the Australian players they needed to behave. Match referee Jeff Crowe also called the captains and managers to a meeting on the eve of the second test in an attempt to calm the situation.
Warner’s and de Kock’s confrontation wasn’t the only heated moment in the opening test, which was characterised by an aggressive fielding display by Australia and a series of verbal exchanges between the teams.
Australia, first innings
C. Bancroft c De Kock b Philander 38
D. Warner b Ngidi 63
U. Khawaja c De Kock b Philander 4
S. Smith lbw b Rabada 25
S. Marsh lbw b Rabada 24
T. Paine b Ngidi 36
M. Marsh c De Kock b Rabada 4
P. Cummins c De Kock b Rabada 0
M. Starc b Rabada 8
N. Lyon b Ngidi 17
J. Hazlewood not out 10
Extras (lb14) 14
Total (71.3 overs) 243
Fall of wickets: 1-98, 2-104, 3-117, 4-161, 5-166, 6-170, 7-170, 8-182, 9-2120
Bowling: Philander 18-7-25-2, Rabada 21-2-96-5, Ngidi 13.3-3-51-3, Maharaj 18-1-51-0, Elgar 1-0-6-0
South Africa innings
D Elgar not out 11
AK Markram lbw b Cummins 11
K Rabada not out 17
Total (12 Overs) 39-1
Yet to bat: HM Amla, AB de Villiers, F du Plessis, TB de Bruyn, Q de Kock †, VD Philander, KA Maharaj, L Ngidi
Fall of wickets: 1-22
Bowling: MA Starc 4-0-14-0, JR Hazlewood 5-1-16-0, PJ Cummins 2-0-9-1, NM Lyon 1-1-0-0