MELBOURNE: A century stand between Kyle Verreynne and Marco Jansen rescued the Proteas from another poor start on the opening day of the Boxing Day Test match against Australia at the MCG in Melbourne on Monday.

The pair put on 112 together for the sixth wicket, but collapses either side of their half-centuries meant the South Africans fell well short of a competitive total after they folded for just 189. Kagiso Rabada then took the only wicket to fall with the hosts reaching the close on 45 for one – trailing by 144.

It was a disappointing day for the tourists, whose build-up to the game centred around their difficulties with the bat after they had done poorly in bowler-friendly conditions during the first Test at The Gabba. Even though conditions were far more conducive for batting, the Australians won the toss and bowled first with captain Dean Elgar (26) getting his side to 56 for one after the loss of Sarel Erwee for 18.

But as lunch loomed, the complexion of the morning was dramatically altered when Elgar was run out by an excellent Marnus Labuschagne direct hit, before the bowler of the day Cameron Green (5/27) took the first of his five wickets when he sent Theunis de Bruyn on his way for 12.

Mitchell Starc (2/39) took out Temba Bavuma (1) and Khaya Zondo (5) either side of the break – at that stage, the away team losing four wickets for just 11 runs and facing the real prospect of being blown away altogether.

However, Verreynne (52 off 99 balls, 3 fours) with his second Test half-century and Jansen (59 off 136 balls, 10 fours) with his first battled hard to bring South Africa back to a picture of respectability.

They got their side to 144 for five at tea and then 179 for five later in the final session, but were then quickly removed by Green as the last five wickets fell for only 10 runs, the Proteas all out in 68.4 overs.

Twelve overs were then sent down with the new ball with just the one wicket taken when Rabada (1/24) had Usman Khawaja caught behind by Verreynne for one, but David Warner playing his 100th Test match took his side to the close unbeaten on 32.

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 beat South Africa by six wickets – 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.