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The series between Australia and South Africa started off in a very competitive fashion and the first day was an entertaining one for everybody who watched - plenty of runs and lots of wickets.
It started as though South Africa were going to blitz the Australians. They bowled very intelligently in the first session: they kept the ball up, they brought the Australian batsmen forward, they found the edges and the good bowling was backed up by some brilliant catching in the slips.
Australia were very quickly 3 for 15, Makhaya Ntini getting two wickets in two balls, getting rid of Mathew Hayden - who started quite confidently - with a very good delivery. He got Ricky Ponting first ball with another good delivery that just moved away, good catch by AB de Villiers in the slip. And then dangerous Michael Hussey was brilliantly caught in the slips by de Villiers, who has an excellent pair of hands, and that was a wicket to Dale Steyn. So, it was a terrific start for the South Africans.
Then we saw a good fight back, led by Simon Katich. Katich is a player who is very much in good form. He is very confident at the moment and he is very comfortable with his game, the way it is. I think that is the best innings I have seen from Katich, played particularly in a situation when Australia was deep in trouble.
Because he is bit more relaxed about his position in the Australian side, the bottom hand that sometimes grips a bit too tight was more relaxed and he hit the ball beautifully through the off side. He played brilliantly and he had good support from Michael Clarke. Clarke was not in good form but he battled his way through to get a half-century and put Australia back on the road to recovery.
Just when it looked as though that they had Australia in trouble, South Africa completely lost the plot in the second session. They became very conservative and the Australians were starting to dictate. Suddenly, Katich was out to a full delivery from Morne Morkel and then Clarke committed suicide, holing out to mid-on off the bowling of Paul Harris.
But then it was Andrew Symonds and Brad Haddin who counter-attacked and once again they put Australia well and truly on top, until Symonds, who got a much needed half-century to give him a bit of confidence, was out to a good piece of bowling. Then Haddin was caught in the deep and once again South Africa had made couple of quick breakthroughs and it looked as though they are going to polish Australia off for a reasonable score.
But then Australia kept bouncing back, they kept playing their shots. This shows something in the South Africa attack that is missing; it's a good pace attack but lacks an intimidating factor to it. They weren't able to intimidate the top order batsmen and certainly the tailenders weren't intimidated at all. Mitchell Johnson played very confidently, and I think he is due for a promotion in the batting order; he is way too good for No. 10.
Australia won the toss, batted first and I think they will be pretty pleased with the situation. They look as though they are going to post South Africa a target of around about 350, and I would have to say, at the end of the day, after having been 3 for 15, the Australians would feel that they have had slightly the better of a very entertaining first day at the WACA.
Former Australia captain Ian Chappell is now a cricket commentator for Channel 9, and a columnist