Finally, cricket is back. The first Australian Test match of the summer season kicked off Friday at the Gabba in Brisbane as South Africa took a commanding Day 1 lead.
South Africa’s great day ended on a sour note when batsman JP Duminy was rushed to hospital after falling to the ground in pain during a post-play training session. The extent of his injury is not yet known, but based on the eyes test he didn’t look to be in a great shape being stretchered from the ground.
The Proteas finished at 2-225 after the opening day, but their great play was boosted by some luck. The damaging duo of Hashim Amla (90 not out) and Jacques Kallis (84 not out) were both given unforgivable second chances, allowing the pair completed a 136-run stand.
Peter Siddle had Kallis caught on 43, but the decision did not stand due to a no-ball and Amla survived on 74 when the speed bowler dropped a simple caught and bowled opportunity. Siddle finished the day 0-58.
Amla’s effort with the bat was his 24th Test half century and he will bat on tomorrow in an attempt to reach his 17th Test century. Kallis’ half century was his 56th.
Openers Graeme Smith and Alviro Petersen fell after lunch.
Ben Hilfenhaus also barely missed an opportunity when deemed his LBW appeal to have slightly caught Petersen wide of off-stump, but he was finally dismissed on 64 after compiling a 90-run stand with Amla when he slogged a Nathan Lyon spin to mid-on for an easy catch.
South Africa dropped spinner Imran Tahir before the coin toss and instead elected to debut Rory Kleinveldt as part of a four-pronged pace attack. We’ll see how that plays out in the next couple of days.
Crave has Australian sport covered.
Follow Robert White on Twitter @RobertWhitebrrr.