Australian batsman David Warner hits one of his 13 boundaries.
Australian batsman David Warner hits one of his 13 boundaries. DAVE HUNT

Starc, Warner have Australia on top in first Test

MITCHELL Starc made the first cut. David Warner was the salt in the wounds.

Australia made a flying start in response to South Africa's total of 242 on the first day of the first Test at the WACA in Perth.

At stumps on day one, the Aussies were cruising at 0-105, with a typically aggressive Warner hitting the Proteas to all parts of the ground to be unbeaten on 73 from just 62 balls.

The 30-year-old was lucky to survive an lbw shout off the bowling of Vernon Philander when on 17.

He had been given not out by the umpire, but when referred to the video review upstairs the only thing that saved him from being dismissed was the fact Philander had slightly overstepped.

Warner would make the Proteas pay, cracking 13 fours and one six, and will resume tomorrow with his sights set on a 17th Test ton.

Opening partner Shaun Marsh was 29 not out after overcoming a difficult early period against Dale Steyn. He took 17 balls to get off the mark.

Australian bowler Mitchell Starc (centre) reacts with team mates after dismissing South African captain Faf du Plessis for 37.
Australian bowler Mitchell Starc (centre) reacts with team mates after dismissing South African captain Faf du Plessis for 37. DAVE HUNT

Earlier, Starc (4/71) and Josh Hazlewood (3/70) destroyed the South African top-order.

The tourists were at one stage reeling at 4-32, the first wicket, of Stephen Cook, falling in Starc's first over.

It continued an impressive run of opening spells by the big left-armer over the past couple of years. He's taken at least one wicket from his first four overs in his past 11 Tests.

It took the two smallest members of the South African team to try and get their team back in the contest.

Keeper-batsman Quinton de Kock, at just 169cm, top-scored with 84 and put on 71 runs for the sixth wicket with the 161cm Temba Bavuma, who would make 51.

Bavuma, in particular, was forced to weather the storm, copping a painful hit to the hip from Hazlewood early in his knock, and then ducking and weaving around a number of other short-pitched deliveries.


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