Australia lead by two after South Africa rally

South Africa's Keshav Maharaj celebrates with team mates after dismissing Australia's Peter Nevill at the WACA Ground in Perth. REUTERS/David Gray
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PERTH (Reuters) – South Africa shrugged off the loss of pace spearhead Dale Steyn to dismiss Australia for 244 and restrict the hosts to an unlikely two-run lead at tea on day two of the first test in Perth.

Steyn left the field with an injury to his right shoulder 40 minutes before lunch and went straight to hospital for scans but their remaining bowlers rallied magnificently as Australia lost 10 wickets for 84 runs on a glorious day at the WACA.

Vernon Philander took 4-56, teaming brilliantly with debutant left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj (3-56), while rising talent Kagiso Rabada also took three wickets.Australia had resumed on 105 without loss and moved comfortably to 158 before Steyn broke the opening partnership when he got David Warner caught behind for 97.

Steyn’s exit in the following over did little to break the Proteas’ focus, with Rabada bowling Usman Khawaja for four and Maharaj capturing a memorable first wicket, trapping Steven Smith lbw for a duck as the captain skipped down the wicket.

Although well down the pitch, umpire Aleem Dar immediately gave the Australian skipper out and Smith trudged off angrily after his review failed, the ball-tracking technology showing it would be clipping the outside of off-stump.

Australia lost their second review when Shaun Marsh was given out lbw in the final over before lunch and the rot continued after the break.

Bowling a tight line and length, Philander and Maharaj ratcheted up the pressure with three straight maidens before Mitchell Marsh succumbed for an eight-ball duck.

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Adam Voges dug in but just as he appeared comfortable, Rabada caught a leading edge off his own bowling to dismiss the middle order batsman for 27.

Mitchell Starc lasted only six balls before holing out for a duck trying to blast Maharaj through the covers, only to mis-hit to South Africa captain Faf du Plessis at midwicket.

Wicketkeeper Peter Nevill was caught for 23, Maharaj’s third wicket, before Josh Hazlewood (4) and Nathan Lyon, the fourth duck of the innings, were quickly dismissed to wrap up the Australian innings and bring tea early.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by John O’Brien)


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