Markram shines with 152 but Australia strike back with late wickets

Much-changed Australia side face plenty of heat from Wanderers crowd

South African batsman Aiden Markram raises his bat as he celebrates scoring 150 runs on the first day of the fourth Test  match  against  Australia at Wanderers  in Johannesburg. Photograph: Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images

South African batsman Aiden Markram raises his bat as he celebrates scoring 150 runs on the first day of the fourth Test match against Australia at Wanderers in Johannesburg. Photograph: Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images

 

4th Test, Day 1 stumps: South Africa 313-6 (A Markram 152, AB de Villiers 69) v Australia

Opener Aiden Markram led the way with a career-best 152 as South Africa had the better of the opening day of the fourth Test against a much-changed Australia, reaching the close on 313 for six in Johannesburg on Friday.

The tourists, reeling from their ball-tampering scandal and led by new captain Tim Paine, had to endure chants of “where is Warner?” and “where is your captain?” from sections of the 17,023 home support at the Wanderers as a reminder of the bans handed to captain Steve Smith, his deputy David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.

Needing a win to grab a share of the series, the tourists kept themselves in the game as the excellent Pat Cummins (three for 53) claimed the wickets of Markram and home skipper Faf du Plessis first ball.

Debutant Chadd Sayers ( two for 64) removed AB de Villiers (69) with the new ball and two deliveries later had nightwatchman Kagiso Rabada caught without scoring.

Fans display a banner in the stands at Wanderers Stadium during the first day of the Fourth Test match between South Africa and Australia. Photograph: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters
Fans display a banner in the stands at Wanderers Stadium during the first day of the Fourth Test match between South Africa and Australia. Photograph: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

Temba Bavuma (25) and Quinton de Kock (seven) will resume on the second morning, looking for a sizeable total on a wicket already taking turn and showing widening cracks as they seek a first home series win over Australia in almost 50 years.

After losing the toss, Australia’s bowlers have found enough in the wicket to dispel the notion of a flat pitch.

But it did not come in the form of reverse swing, which was noticeably absent having been a feature of the first three Tests, only becoming apparent with the very old ball.

The excellent Markram has been the anchor for the innings, hitting 17 fours and a six on his way to a fourth career century to go with three 50s in 17 Test innings as he scored all around the ground.

His 216-ball vigil ended when he steered Cummins to Mitchell Marsh in the gully, having brought up his 150 the delivery before with a sumptuous drive.

It was the fourth century for the home side in the series, and second for Markram, with Australia’s batsmen yet to break their duck, a major difference between the two sides.

South Africa were teetering on the brink of another middle-order collapse when Du Plessis misjudged Cummins’s next delivery, leaving the ball as it crashed into his pads for a plumb lbw decision.

But De Villiers and Bavuma steadied the innings again with a fifth-wicket partnership of 52, before two late wickets lifted Australia at the Wanderers.

The other batsmen out were opener Dean Elgar (19), caught off the leading edge from a Lyon delivery for the third time in the series, and Hashim Amla (27), who edged Cummins to Peter Handscombe at second slip.

Australia made four changes from the last Test, replacing the banned trio with Joe Burns, Matt Renshaw and Handscombe. Fast bowler Mitchell Starc has a stress fracture in his leg and was replaced by Sayers.

South Africa, 2-1 up in the series, were unchanged with fast bowler Morne Morkel playing his final Test match before he retires from international cricket.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.