Starc, Hazlewood help Australia go 1-0 up

Australia required just 22 deliveries to wrap up the first Test on Monday (March 5), ensuring there was to be no on-field drama in the wake of Sunday’s off-field fracas.

Josh Hazlewood secured the final wicket Australia required, trapping Quinton de Kock lbw for 83 as South Africa were bowled out for 298 in their second innings to lose the match by 118 runs.

Australia declined to take the new ball at the start of the day, and although Mitchell Starc was unable to grab a hat-trick that would also have given him a 10-wicket haul in the match, it wasn’t long before Hazlewood struck.

Starc finished with match figures of 9 for 119, having used the reverse swing on offer to destroy South Africa’s lower order in both innings, while Hazlewood’s strike gave him a third wicket in the innings.

The Australians shook hands with de Kock once the match was complete, suggesting that the fervent animosity from the fourth day’s play had diffused overnight, despite the leaking of footage from a CCTV camera outside the two teams’ dressing rooms.

The footage showed David Warner in the midst of a verbal tirade towards de Kock as the players made their way into the dressing rooms during the tea break. Reports in Australia suggested that Warner had been set off after de Kock made comments about his wife.

The incident, along with South Africa’s fightback in the second half of the first Test, should only add spice to the rest of the four-match series, which will resume in Port Elizabeth on Friday.

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