Perth, Nov 30: Australia pacemen dominated the opening day of third and final Test as they dismissed South Africa for 225 in the final session at the WACA ground on Friday. In reply, Australia were reduced to 33/2 at stumps.
In Ricky Ponting's final Test, Australia have started off well and in their bid to give the former captain a winning farewell. However, South African fast bowlers too began on a high towards the end.
Ponting did not walk out to bat at number four today as nightwatchman Nathan Lyon joined David Warner in the middle. There were comical scenes at Perth when Lyon walked out to bat. Crowd, thinking it was Ponting, started to cheer Lyon, only to realise their mistake. Ponting's wife too started applauding Lyon but she too came out know later.
Hosts' quicks Mitchell Starc (2/51), debutant John Hastings (1/51), Mitchell Johnson (2/54) and Shane Watson (1/22) all picked up wickets while offspinner Nathan Lyon most the most successful bowlers with figures of 3/41 in 12 overs.
Yet again, for South Africa, it was Faf du Plessis who stood tall among the ruins. After his unbeaten century to save the Test in Adelaide on debut, Du Plessis remained not out again, this time was stranded on 78.
South Africa, after winning the toss, chose to bat. They had a decent start with skipper Graeme Smith and Alviro Petersen batting out the first 10 overs without much trouble. But once Watson came into the attack and removed Smith in the 12th over, Australian bowlers started to take control.
South Africa are playing their 200th Test here. If Australia win this Test, they will return to the top of the ICC Test rankings, replacing their opponents. The Proteas have to draw the match to retain their number one position.