On a green Gabba course and with a little cloud overhead, the Australian bowlers took full advantage afterwards Pat Cummins chose to bat first on Day 1 of the first Test against South Africa.
Aside from a solid 98-run partnership between half a centurion Kyle Verreynne and Tem Bavuma, the Proteas suffered a fatal collapse of 27 for 4 and 27 for 6 on either side of the Verreynne-Bavuma stand. The tourists eventually bundled for 152, with Verreynne scoring the most, 64 runs.
pacer Mitchell Starc (3/41) and off spinner Nathan Lyons (3/14) were the best bowlers for the hosts, with three wickets each. Likewise, Scott Boland (2/28) and Cummins (2/35) each grabbed a pair of scalps.
In response, Australians tasted their own medicine, with South African pacemakers dropping absolute lightning bolts to make surviving Aussie batters quite difficult. Kagiso Rabada sent shockwaves from the start, sending opener David Warner off for a golden duck on the very first ball.
soon, Marnus Labuschagne (11) and Usman Khawaja (11) were also removed as the home side were reduced to 27/3 within 10 overs. Before the Proteas could apply more pressure, Travis head and Steve Smith took things away to form a stunning 117-run partnership for the fourth wicket, with Head counter-attacking thanks to his full-flow batting.
Two late wickets in the form of Smith and nightwatchman Boland saw South Africa scramble back but they still have the prospect of taking a significant lead as Australia are just seven runs behind with Head unbeaten on 78 and five wickets in the hand.
Here’s how Twitter responded:
Pat Cummins said before this Test that Travis Head believes Australia has a six-man attack on the back of its wickets at Galle & Perth these days. And here he walks off with the bowlers after they bowl out South Africa for 152 #AusvSA pic.twitter.com/25zoVaYyPi
— Bharat Sundaresan (@beastieboy07) December 17, 2022
— Alison Mitchell (@AlisonMitchell) December 17, 2022
Travis Head is like a non-permanent Adam Gilchrist
— Daniel Cherny (@Daniel Cherny) December 17, 2022
I’m pretty sure it’s not fun to face, but a green Gabba deck on day one sure is fun to watch… #AUSvSA
— Melinda Farrell (@melindafarrell) December 17, 2022
Give me a test where two teams are 3-27 in the first innings, over 400 plays 400 every day. #AUSvSA
— Scott Bailey (@ScottBaileyAAP) December 17, 2022
Lowest Test batting average for openers in 2022 (minimum 10 innings):
9:64 PM — David Warner 🇦🇺
11:84 PM — Alex Lees
26.58 — Will Young 🇳🇿
26.92 — Sarel Erwee 🇿🇦
29.75 — Mahmudul Hasan Joy 🇧🇩
— Nic Wilde (@nic_savage1) December 17, 2022
There is no word for beating South Africa other than poop. This is the fifth time they have been out for 200 in five Test innings. At least three of today’s firings were by the batters themselves. Lack of confidence, lack of application, just poop. #AUSvSA
— Firdose Moonda (@FirdoseM) December 17, 2022
Shaheen did that a few times at Warner in Pakistan. The only difference was that the ball didn’t fly like the Gabba. Very hard to open when the best fast people know they can get you that way #AUSvSA pic.twitter.com/1mh91YukYm
— Daniel Brettig 🏏 (@danbrettig) December 17, 2022
— MI Cape Town (@MICapeTown) December 17, 2022
There’s a lot of Adam Gilchrist in the way Travis plays Head. Being a specialized hitter, there is more of an expectation of head hitting “responsibly”. Speaks volumes about locker room culture under Pat Cummins that he got the license to play this way. #AUSvsSA
— Andrew Wu (@wutube) December 17, 2022
#AUS #Twitter #reactions #Travis #stands #tall #opening #day #wickets #Brisbane