BRISBANE: Kyle Verreynne struck a pivotal half-century before two wickets apiece from Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje kept the Proteas in the mix after a difficult opening day of their three-match Test series in Brisbane on Saturday.

On a day that 15 wickets fell, the tourists were asked to bat first and bundled out for just 152, before the hosts replied with 145 for five at The Gabba, which witnessed its biggest first day crowd for a non-Ashes Test.

There were 29,306 people in attendance, but not too much of good batting after the South Africans were bundled out in 48.2 overs. In fact, things could have been far worse had it not been for Verreynne’s 64 (96 balls, 8 fours, 1 six) and a crucial 38 by Temba Bavuma.

The pair shared in a 98-run partnership after their side lost Dean Elgar (3), Rassie van der Dussen (5), Sarel Erwee (10) and Khaya Zondo (0) in that order with only 27 on the board.

In difficult batting conditions, Verreynne and Bavuma settled well, the former going on to score his first Test half-century to go with his only other 50+ score of 136 not out.

But once the stand was broken, the Proteas folded quickly losing their last six wickets for a poor 27 runs. Mitchell Starc (3/41) and Nathan Lyon (3/14) were the most successful bowlers for the home side.

South Africa started brilliantly with the ball as David Warner fell first ball to a fine one-handed leaping catch by Zondo at short leg off Rabada (2/50). Marco Jansen (1/15) also struck with his first ball to take out Marnus Labuschagne (11), while Nortje (2/37) removed Usman Khawaja (11) with his second delivery as the Australians slumped to 27 for three.

But the in-form Travis Head counter-attacked with a stellar unbeaten 78 off 77 balls (13 fours, 1 six) as the away side lost intensity. Together with Steve Smith (36), the pair added 117 for the fourth wicket to take the advantage away from the visitors.

Nortje eventually broke through late in the day by cleaning up Smith, with nightwatchman Scott Boland (1) dismissed by Rabada. However, the home side held all the aces at the close as they trailed by just seven runs.

Proteas Test squad against Australia

Dean Elgar (captain, Momentum Multiply Titans), Temba Bavuma (DP World Lions), Gerald Coetzee (ITEC Knights), Theunis de Bruyn (Momentum Multiply Titans), Sarel Erwee (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Simon Harmer (Momentum Multiply Titans), Marco Jansen (Dafabet Warriors), Heinrich Klaasen (Momentum Multiply Titans), Keshav Maharaj (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Lungi Ngidi (Momentum Multiply Titans), Anrich Nortje (Dafabet Warriors), Kagiso Rabada (DP World Lions), Rassie van der Dussen (DP World Lions), Kyle Verreynne (wicketkeeper, Six Gun Grill Western Province), Lizaad Williams (Momentum Multiply Titans), Khaya Zondo (Hollywoodbets Dolphins).

South Africa Test Tour to Australia Itinerary

Four-day Tour Match

09 – 12 December

Cricket Australia XI drew with South Africa – The Allan Border Field, Brisbane



17 – 21 December

Australia vs South Africa – The Gabba, Brisbane


26 – 30 December

Australia vs South Africa – MCG, Melbourne


04 – 08 January

Australia vs South Africa – SCG, Sydney



Issued by: Cricket South Africa – Corporate Communications


Cricket South Africa (CSA), an affiliate of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and a full member of the International Cricket Council (ICC), is the national governing body for the sport of cricket in South Africa and administers all aspects of South African cricket, men and women, both in the professional and amateur spheres.