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Warner, Smith stand firm after Proteas strike early

David Warner and Australia captain, Steve Smith halted the Proteas momentum with a second wicket partnership of 56 after Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada struck inside the first hour of play.

Australia's David Warner gets quick runs during the first Test against the Proteas in Durban on 1 March 2018. Picture: Twitter/@OfficialCSA

JOHANNESBURG - David Warner and Australia captain, Steve Smith halted the Proteas momentum with a second wicket partnership of 56 after Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada removed Cameron Bancroft and Usman Khawaja inside the first hour of play.

Morne Morkel, who is playing in his last Test series for the Proteas after announcing his retirement from international cricket earlier in the week, thought he had Bancroft’s wicket in the first over of play, but the Proteas lost the review as the Hawkeye adjudged the ball to be bouncing over the stumps.

The Proteas didn’t have to wait too long to get the wicket of Bancroft, as Philander dismissed the opener for five, caught behind by Quinton de Kock. Khawaja struck a couple of delightful boundaries before being brilliantly caught by De Kock off the bowling of Rabada for 14.

Captain Smith then joined his deputy at the crease and together they got stuck into the Proteas bowlers. Warner survived a close lbw decision off Keshav Maharaj, with the review showing that the ball would have missed his leg stump. South Africa have now lost both of their reviews inside the first hour of play.

Warner and Smith then piled on the runs and put together a 56-run partnership for the second wicket before Philander returned to strike again on the stroke of lunch to restrict Australia to 95-3 at the interval.

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