The touring tail continues to bail their side out of trouble.
South Africa fought back on the second day of the first Test against Australia at SuperSport Park on on Thursday, claiming three wickets before lunch, including centurions Shaun Marsh and Steve Smith.
Australia were 374 for seven at lunch after adding 77 runs during the morning’s play at Centurion.
Marsh and Smith took their fifth wicket stand to 233, seeing off the threat of Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander with the second new ball, before Smith was out for 100, caught at second slip off Ryan McLaren.
It was a crucial breakthrough because South Africa’s bowling resources looked thin with Steyn and Philander having finished their spells.
South Africa started the day without fast bowler Morne Morkel, who was having a scan after suffering a shoulder injury in the field on Wednesday.
Smith took 33 balls to advance from his overnight 91 to his fourth Test century, made off 211 deliveries, but was out two balls later.
Brad Haddin, one of the stars of Australia’s 5-0 series win over England, lasted just three balls before he swung across the line against left-arm spinner Robin Peterson and was leg before wicket without scoring.
Marsh took his overnight score of 122 to a Test-best 148 before Philander came back into the attack and had him caught at first slip.
Morkel returned 75 minutes into the day and was able to bowl immediately because the injury had been external. He conceded 17 runs in four overs, including two successive fours by Mitchell Johnson
Johnson was unbeaten on 28 at lunch, made off 46 balls with five fours.
Lunch scores on the second day of the first Test between South Africa and Australia at Centurion’s SuperSport Park on Thursday:
Australia first innings
C. Rogers c Duminy b Morkel 4
D. Warner b Steyn 12
A. Doolan c Peterson b McLaren 27
S. Marsh c Smith b Philander 148
M. Clarke c Philander b Steyn 23
S. Smith c Petersen b McLaren 100
B. Haddin lbw b Peterson 0
M. Johnson not out 28
R. Harris not out 7
Extras (b4, lb8, nb2, w11) 25
Total (7 wkts, 116 overs) 374
Fall of wickets: 1-15 (Warner), 2-24 (Rogers), 3-72 (Doolan), 4-98 (Clarke), 5-331 (Smith), 6-332 (Haddin), 7-348 (Marsh)
Bowling: Steyn 26-6-67-2 (1w), Philander 24-5-69-1, Morkel 22-5-73-1 (1w), McLaren 20-4-72-2 (2nb, 1w), Peterson 14-0-47-1, Duminy 10-1-34-0
To bat: P. Siddle, N. Lyon
South Africa: G. Smith, A. Petersen, H. Amla, F. du Plessis, A. de Villiers, J. Duminy, R. Peterson, R. McLaren, V. Philander, D. Steyn, M Morkel
Match situation: Australia are 374 for seven in the first innings
Toss: South Africa
Umpires: Aleem Dar (PAK), Richard Illingworth (ENG)
TV umpire: Ian Gould (ENG)
Match referee: Roshan Mahanama (SRI)