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Proteas on top at lunch

Sportal November 9, 2012, 1:27 pm
James Pattinson

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South Africa are 1-90 at lunch on day one of the first Test at the Gabba after Australia claimed the key wicket of captain Graeme Smith during the first session.

For 10 overs, Smith (10) and fellow opener Alviro Petersen (45 not out) looked comfortable at the crease and settled into a nice groove against an occasionally wayward Australian attack.

But after winning the toss and electing to bat, the Proteas captain fell in the exact method Australia's leaked tactical dossier suggested was the best way to get him - leg before.

James Pattinson (1-29 from nine overs) took the wicket, pressing the batsman up on the crease as the ball smacked into his back pad halfway up middle stump.

Umpire Billy Bowden did not raise the finger but a confident Pattinson asked for the decision to be reviewed, and in return earned his first scalp of the international summer.

Australia's three-pronged pace attack was too short at times through the first session but Smith's departure after just 27 deliveries piled the pressure back on the tourists at 1-29.

However, there has been no joy since for the home side.

Petersen and Hashim Amla (29 not out) are in the middle and have combined for a partnership worth 61 that has steadied the South African ship.

Petersen has hit five boundaries while Amla also looks in the mood after crashing spinner Nathan Lyon down the ground for a big six.

Preferred ahead of twelfth man Mitchell Starc, Lyon had kept things tight prior to that and finished with figures of 0-17 from his three-over spell.

Smith had survived an earlier appeal in the third over, but DRS replays showed a leg side ball from Ben Hilfenhaus flicked his pad, not his bat, despite a half-hearted shout from wicketkeeper Matthew Wade.

That left Australia with just one unsuccessful use of the DRS system remaining this innings.

Hilfenhaus (0-14 from eight overs) and Peter Siddle (0-28 from seven) were rotated in and out of the attack but the Proteas are now on top thanks to Petersen and Amla's second-wicket stand.

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