SA on top despite Steyn injury, Amla failure

TMG Digital


SOUTH Africa will take a lead of 102 into Saturday’s play in the first test against Australia following a day of drama at the WACA.

The match situation was scarcely believable considering Australia had resumed on 105 without loss in reply to South Africa’s first innings of 242.

But, with Vernon Philander and debutant left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj combining to claim seven wickets between them, the visitors took all 10 wickets for 86 runs to dismiss Australia for 244.

And that despite the loss of Dale Steyn for the series to a shoulder injury early in the second hour.

Steyn clutched his shoulder immediately while bowling his seventh over of the day.

He sank to his haunches and left the field after consulting with team physiotherapist Brandon Jackson.

Minutes later Steyn was seen in the dressingroom with his shoulder – the same one he broke in December during the series against England – heavily strapped.

Team management said Steyn had “aggravated an old right shoulder injury” and had “gone to the hospital for further investigations”.

During the tea interval he was seen congratulating his teammates for dismissing Australia by slapping them on the back – but only with his left hand. He held his right arm at an awkward angle.

Later came the crushing news that he had been ruled out of the rest of the series.

“(Steyn) was taken to the hospital for preliminary scans which confirmed a new fracture of the bone in the shoulder joint,” a Cricket South Africa release quoted team manager Mohammed Moosajee as saying.

“He will take no further part in the match (he will bat if absolutely necessary) and the series, and will return to South Africa to see a shoulder specialist who will advise on an appropriate plan of action.

“An injury of this nature is rare and will in all likelihood require surgery but that will only be confirmed once we receive an opinion from the specialist.” 

No decision has been made on whether a replacement will be summoned.

The home side resumed with David Warner on 73 not out and seemingly locked and loaded for a century.

But midway through a first session in which South Africa’s bowlers rediscovered the discipline they had misplaced on Thursday, Warner angled his bat to guide Steyn through point and instead steered a catch to Hashim Amla at slip.    

Warner’s 97 was studded with 16 fours and a six, and came off 100 balls.

His dismissal ended a stand of 158 he shared with Shaun Marsh.

That turned out to be the only partnership of the innings to reach 30.

Philander trapped Marsh in front for 63 with a delivery that seamed into the left-hander.

No other Australian made it out of the 20s.

Maharaj bowled with nagging accuracy from the northern or Prindiville Stand end for the entire second session for his return of 3/56.

Philander found movement off the seam and claimed 4/56.

South Africa, who were 4/32 after the first eight overs on Thursday, were afforded a steadier start in their second inning.

Openers Stephen Cook and Dean Elgar were together for 16.4 overs when Cook pulled a bouncer from Peter Siddle and was caught at short midwicket.

South Africa stumbled to 45/2 when Hashim Amla cut at Josh Hazlewood and dragged an inswinger onto his stumps.

Amla, who made a duck in the first innings, was out for a single. Only twice before in his 95 tests and not since 2006 has he recorded a match aggregate of one.

But South Africa overcame the void Amla left through patience and diligence at the crease.

Elgar faced 117 balls for his 46 not out and JP Duminy was still there after 62 deliveries for his unbeaten 34.


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