Snapshot for day 4 of the first Test

Australia spinner Nathan Lyon

Australia in control despite SA strikes

Apart from the Proteas disappointing batting performance in the first innings the essential difference between the two sides was the lower-order batting. Although the match finished in four days, South Africa knew that it had to, because the forecast for the fifth day was bad.

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"We saw it is getting harder to bat. It's got to be fair for the batters", Paine said.

Paine's ploy to stand up to Marsh was a masterstroke.

"When he gets it right, he's just about impossible to play", said Pat Cummins of his pace partner.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "It was just reminding him of what he had just done, trying to get him off his game, the same as they do to us".

Warner was shown being restrained by teammates after an exchange of words with de Kock as the players came off the field and made their way through the tunnel and up a staircase that leads to both dressing rooms. The way Maharaj out thought the Australian top order will give Du Plessis the belief in his spinner and his ability to hold up an end. That isn't to say they need to unleash a torrent of expletives that will only hit them in the pocket and see the award of demerit points or suspensions, but they need to demonstrate they are up for this challenge, in fact, that they want this confrontation and they can not be intimidated.

Markram hit 19 fours in the best innings of his career, battling a pitch where the ball was turning and reverse swinging and also a pumped-up Australian team that was in typically aggressive mood in the field.

Australia was frustrated by bad light and will have to come back to Kingsmead on the final day of the first test against South Africa to confirm what should be a series-opening victory. There will also be some pressure on Dean Elgar, who scored 16 runs in the Test, and AB de Villiers, whose first-innings 71 was overshadowed by a needless run-out at the non-striker's end in the second.

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Scoring heavily through the covers the 23-year-old took it upon himself to make amends by inspiring a remarkable turnaround, and tension began to increase as he and De Kock punched the old ball around at a handy clip.

"I'm not sure about that speed gun".

Paine said it was a satisfying and relieving moment.

Mitchell Starc tore through South Africa's lower order at the end of the fourth day on Sunday, and was denied the chance of a hat trick in unusual circumstances right at the end. They scored total 181 runs till now and players are still in the crease.

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis conceded that the team lost its way after giving up a huge first-innings lead.

He led by example tremendously on Sunday, although was deflated by his departure.

Starc won the Man of the Match award, over all-rounder Mitchell Marsh, who fell just four runs short of his second Test century in consecutive innings on Day 2 of the Durban Test. Marsh's valiant knock of 96 helped Australia recover from 177/5 to 351 all out, a respectable score on a bowler-friendly surface.

"To run one down and try to beat point and get two or four for it when it was probably not needed at the time, a little bit loose, a little bit out of my game plan and often that costs you the wicket".

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