Day 1 of the 2nd Test on Boxing Day at the MCG has been a roller coaster, with Australia dominating for most of the time having chosen to bowl first. The morning session was amazing to see the Aussie quicks nail down the Proteas top-half batting card early at 58-4.
However, the Proteas have re-started well after lunch thanks to a crucial middle-order stand from keeper Kyle Verreynne & the towering all-rounder Marco Jansen – where they both scored their respective half-tons of 52 & 59. Good to see Jansen both backing up as well as smashing it downtown, while Verreynne kept it simple with runs on the board.
Although SA have turned themselves around as much as they can going into tea on 179-5; their time with the bat has came to an end on 189 where Cameron Green demolished the other Proteas batting half – which reflected his brilliant five-wicket haul of 5/27. Brilliant stuff there from Australia’s own all-rounder in Green.
And to cap off the 1st day, it’s great to see Dave Warner survive this time on 32 not out off 51 balls amid a string of poor performances as of late. While Usman Khawaja may have been given the flick early yet again after he was caught behind on 1 by Verreynne (off Kagiso Rabada), Marnus Labuschagne is right next to Warner on 5* as Australia will pick up on Day 2 tomorrow at 45-1 alongside the 144 run trail.
We would love to see Warner return to form – who has explosive sprinting ability when running to and from the wickets at either end, while Marnus will look to do more damage v his country of birth after a great day out on the field – one involving a direct hit on Dean Elgar – and another was a stunning screamer on Khaya Zondo at cover. Lots of work from the Aussies now to hang in there & build a decent lead on top of SA over the next day or two.