Aussies hold advantage despite Faf heroics
Faf du Plessis was once again the hero for South Africa but Australia hold the upper hand after day one of the third and final Test.
Graeme Smith won the toss and opted to bat but may have regretted his decision after the Aussie pacemen reduced the Proteas to 132-7. This was after a bright enough start for the tourists who had reached 38 without loss before the returning Shane Watson made the breakthrough to dismiss the Proteas captain for 16. That heralded a collapse as Mitchell Starc (2-55), Mitchell Johnson (2-54) and John Hastings (1-51) ripped through the tourists' top order. Du Plessis, who scored 78 and 110 not out on his debut in the second Test to win the man-of-the-match award, dug deep and found support down the order to restore a degree of respectability. He put on 57 with Robin Peterson (31) and 64 with Vernon Philander (28), while last man Morne Morkel cracked 17 in a partnership of 19 before he was dismissed by Nathan Lyon (3-41) to leave Du Plessis stranded on 78. A first-innings total of 225 was far from what was required but the Proteas showed this game is far from over after reducing the Aussies to 33-2 by the close, with Ed Cowan and Watson going cheaply.