A fightback from Mitch Marsh and Tim Paine late on day one helped Australia share honours with South Africa in the first Test in Durban yesterday. After David Warner (51), Steve Smith (56) and Shaun Marsh (40) all failed to convert their good starts, Australia were teetering at 5-177 before Mitch Marsh (32no) and Paine (21no) shepherded them to stumps, which was called early due to bad light. At 5-225 Australia are about 100-120 runs shy of what would be a solid total on a slow, dry deck which is already amenable to spin and a tad two-paced for the quicks. The younger Marsh gave cause to believe his extraordinary Ashes series was no fluke. That commanding performance against England was built around Marsh’s willingness to tone down his aggression and bat according to the match situation. Yesterday the scenario he encountered demanded circumspection and that was just what Marsh produced as he left or dead batted the good deliveries and pounced on the rest. While Marsh seems to have finally identified a batting method which works for him in Tests, his WA teammate Cameron Bancroft looks a muddled mess. Bancroft’s dismissal in the sixth over of the day was… Read full this story
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