Cameron Green has reaffirmed his arrival as cricket’s new superstar after his first Test match five-wicket haul put Australia on top of the Boxing Day Test.
Australian captain Pat Cummins won the toss and put South Africa in to bat for the second Test running and the decision was vindicated as Green’s 5-27 helped the home side dismiss the Proteas for just 189.
After picking up his first wicket during the opening session, Green’s other four scalps came in the space of a few overs as South Africa lost its last five wickets for just 10 runs.
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South Africa had slumped to 5-67 before a spirited partnership between all-rounder Marco Jansen (59) and wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne (52) lifted the tourists’ hopes.
However, Green broke the promising 112-run stand when Verreynne was caught in the slips, before removing Jansen a few deliveries later.
Green’s maiden Test five-wicket haul comes just days after he became the most expensive Australian player to be bought at an IPL auction, with the Mumbai Indians forking out more than $3 million for the 23-year-old.
The hasty finish to South Africa’s innings saved Australia’s blushes after a remarkable four catches were dropped in the field in what was an uncharacteristically sloppy display.
Having seen their innings crumble, the Proteas wanted early inroads and removed the in-form Usman Khawaja before David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne saw Australia reach 1-45 at stumps.
There was immense pressure on Warner heading into the innings, and the veteran opener came out swinging, reaching 32 off just 51 balls at the end of the day’s play.
Australia will open day two trailing South Africa by just 144 runs with nine wickets in hand.
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