Cape Town - Australia dismissed Stephen Cook with the fourth ball of the match and they never looked back as they totally dominated the opening day of the first Test match against the Proteas at the WACA in Perth on Thursday.
After bowling South Africa out for 242, Australia closed the day on 105/0, a first innings deficit of only 137.
It was a day on which very little went right for the Proteas after Faf du Plessis had won the toss and opted to bat first. In truth Australia were superior to them in all three disciplines. Their bowling was tight, their catching bordered on the exceptional and their opening pair of David Warner and Shaun Marsh have already posted the biggest partnership of the match with their unbeaten 105 in 21 overs.
It could have been slightly better as Vernon Philander trapped Warner lbw for 17 only for the delivery to be identified as a no ball when the Proteas did a review. Warner went on to finish the day on a very brisk 73 (62 balls, 13 fours and a six).
The Proteas were up against it from the time they lost four wickets for 32 runs in 13 overs. There was a slight recovery as Du Plessis and Temba Bavuma put on 49 for the fifth wicket and then Bavuma and Quinton de Kock a further 71 for the sixth wicket.
De Kock went on to make top score of 84 (101 balls, 11 fours and a six) and was only denied a second Test century by some careless batting by some of the lower order. As he ran out of partners he tried to force the pace and paid the inevitable price.
Bavuma was next best with his 51 (86 balls, 7 fours) which took his Test career average past the benchmark of 40. He was desperately unlucky to be dismissed by a sensational catch by Shaun Marsh at short leg.
Probably the best positive to come out of the match for the Proteas was the bowling of Dale Steyn who topped 150km/h for the first time since his injuries. His battle with Warner with the new ball provided the most compelling viewing of the day.
The Proteas will certainly need their attack leader to strike quickly and often on the second morning. The wicket of Warner will have to be an absolute priority.
David Warner, Shaun Marsh, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith (captain), Adam Voges, Mitchell Marsh, Peter Nevill (wicketkeeper), Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon
Stephen Cook, Dean Elgar, Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis (captain), Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock (wicketkeeper), Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn