Rabada reels in Aussies in seesaw test at Kingsmead
The seesaw effect continued unabated as South Africa and Australia tenuously fought for dominance on the second morning of the first test at Kingsmead on Friday.
It was a grey and overcast start to the day but the sun cleared enough for Australia to proceed to 300/8.
The even nature of the game showed through the session statistics. South Africa collected three wickets while Australia added 75 runs in 25.4 overs.
Should the game continue in this manner when South Africa bat it has the makings of a classic if the light plays ball.
The afternoon and evening sessions have been extended by 15 minutes each to make up for the time lost on day one.
Mitchell Marsh (60*) held the fort for the visitors to make up for the loss of Tim Paine (25)‚ Pat Cummins (3) and Mitchell Starc (35).
South Africa bowled impressively with Kagiso Rabada leading the charge with an impressive early spell of 6-3-4-1.
He bowled accurately with pace and hostility but Marsh's admirable and recently acquired restraint prevented the hosts from running through the Australians.
Having made his name as a muscular all-rounder with an unparalleled six-hitting ability‚ the tall Marsh is on the way to moulding himself into a test regular number six.
His 125-ball 50 may have contained eight fours but there was impeccable judgement outside off-stump.
His judiciousness in picking the boundary ball was also exemplary. Mitchell Starc was the perfect foil when Australia rushed to collect quick runs before lunch.
The Mitchells added a quickfire 49 off 53 balls to partially undo the work Rabada and Keshav Maharaj put in earlier in the session.
A peach of a out-swinger got rid of the obdurate Paine‚ who's innings spanned 72 balls. Cummins‚ who scored a 50 in the three-day tour game against South Africa‚ was perceived as a threat.
However‚ he didn't materialise as he was castled by a Maharaj delivery that foxed him for a lack of turn.
The Mitchells then held court in the sunshine‚ with the left-handed Starc clouting Maharaj for two massive sixes over cow corner to add to the four boundaries he creamed in his 25-ball knock. Maharaj (4/103) had the last laugh when he bowled him on the stroke of lunch to end the irritating stand.