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1st Test, Brisbane, December 17 - 18, 2022, South Africa tour of Australia
152 & 99
(T:34) 218 & 35/4

Australia won by 6 wickets

Player Of The Match
Match centre 
Scores: @Thilak_Rama | Comms: Alex Malcolm and Ekanth
Scorecard summary
South Africa 152/10(48.2 overs)
3/14 (8)
38 (70)
3/41 (14)
Australia 218/10(50.3 overs)
92 (96)
4/76 (17.3)
36 (68)
3/32 (9)
South Africa 99/10(37.4 overs)
36* (85)
5/42 (12.4)
29 (61)
2/14 (8)
Australia 35/4(7.5 overs)
end of over 811 runs
AUS: 35/4CRR: 4.37 
Cameron Green0 (2b)
Marnus Labuschagne5 (16b 1x4)
Anrich Nortje 3.5-0-18-0
Kagiso Rabada 4-1-13-4

Australia win comfortably but the conversations will focus on the green pitch. Will they go black and white or grey in the cricket world? We'll find out in the next few days. Dean Elgar, though, did say that it wasn't even contest between bat and ball which could provide indications on how the story of this series develops. Firdose Moonda's match report is up here. There will be lots more content from the match, catch that too here on ESPNcricinfo. For now, it's goodbye from me, Ekanth, my co-commentator Alex Malcolm, and our scorers, Thilak Rama and M Venkat Raghav.

Temba: "Is it only subcontinent pitches that are rated poorly or is this a contender?" Going by the reactions so far, this will be in contention.

Luke: "Sorry @Param, don't see the double standard here… where is the "unfair advantage"? True, the pitch should be rated 'poor' because it favored the bowling too much over batting, they got the balance wrong. But the pitch favored the fast bowlers, for two teams with the best pace bowling lineups in world cricket. How was it an advantage or disadvantage for either team? Plus, I don't remember India having to front up on a pitch like this when they were last in Australia… "

Param: ""The direction of public discourse is hard to predict." No, it's not. Watch out for: "yes, the pitch wasn't the best, but that was poor application from the batsmen" and "what you get when the two best bowling attacks..." and "the game is tilted towards batsmen too much, anyway" If Dean Elgar's comments are any indication of how things will turn out, that won't be the case. But yeah, will be interesting to see how it all unfolds. At least some good memes will come out of it.

Pat Cummins, Australia Captain: Great couple of days, great way to start to the series. tricky wicket. Head and Smith the way they got us to a good total was awesome. I wasn't happy with my bowling yesterday, couldn't get my lengths right on a greentop on day one. Happy today, I thought all the bowlers were fantastic. (On the pitch) I'm a bowler, you're asking the wrong person (smiles). We had a couple of partnerships, a couple of batters played well. Head almost got a hundred on it. In a way, happy to have ended on the right side of it. (On Starc) Keeps impressing. The longevity to take 300 and play ten years is great, he keeps going to a different level. Around the wicket, nipping the ball away is a new skill. He is a huge member of our team, continues to get better. (On the extra days) It is nice. All attention turns to boxing day. Look forward, can't wait!

Dean Elgar, South Africa captain: Another 60 runs might have been a different result. Still trying to wrap my brain around what's happened. (On the pitch) It was pretty spicy (smiles), if you're a bowler, you'd be licking your lips by how everything unfolded. Challenging for the batters, no doubt. That is okay if there is a good contest between bat and ball. Obviously, on the flip side, I don't see it was that way really. (On MCG preparation) I honestly think we couldn't have prepared any better coming into this series. We've hit enough balls but I think conditions were not in favour of batters in this game. I think the partnership between Smith and Head stand made the difference. I can't really think of too much else. We'll still prepare the same way and take it from there. I'm glad to have three days to go back to the drawing board. Few scars might have opened up. We have more players in the sidelines waiting. If you have quality bowling attacks people will want to watch. But they will want to watch for five days, which obviously did not happen today.

Travis Head is the POTM: It was very difficult. There was plenty of help for bowlers Nice to contribute, get to a score and get there in the end. (On the conversation with Smith yesterday) We were looking for scoring opportunities. They bowled good areas and it was challenging. We were able to get through, had a bit of luck, nice to have a partnership that contributed to winning the game. (On if MCG will be different) It was a challenging wicket. The bowling attacks are great. So, regardless of the wicket, there will be a challenge.

Mustafa Moudi: "10 Ducks out of the total 34 wickets.... This test had more ducks than the pond !!"

"2 Test Matches is really possible within 5 days on this Wicket.", quips Vaibhav Sane

Steve Smith on Seven "Yeah It wasn't much fun for us batters out there to be honest. It was a very challenging wicket. Lots of seam movement, very up and down, divots in the wickets. It wasn't much fun but fortunately we were on the right end of it."

Mitchell Starc: I'm not sure if I have ever played a two-day Test. It was very interesting to say the least. (On the 300-wicket achievement) It's pretty cool. Green said it the ball that got the wicket was better than the one where he dropped the catch. It is cool and prestigious. I might reflect when all's done and dusted.(On if prioritising Tests has helped) I guess so. I might have not prioritised it, I have sacrificed some time to spend more time with Alyssa. I've enjoyed my cricket and have been consistent in the last two years. (On being asked what's helped) Bowling captain (laughs) Boland's come in and been unbelievable. Josh's been great. We've complemented and know how to get the best of each other. Nathan Lyon walks into the frame, Starc, referring to the spinner, says he bowled well. If it seams and spins. Lyon says, "I've always said I enjoy playing cricket to watch my mates to do well. It's great to see Starc do well in all three formats." (On being asked if he can believe the match finished so early) I can believe it because it's two great bowling attacks going at each other. I think it's bowling attacks. (On the pitch) I've always said it's best when there is a contest between bat and ball. Head was the difference, you see the scorecard and find out that was the case.

4:47pm: Extras will be the top scorer in the final innings. Handshakes all around. That was eventful to say the least. 19 more wickets to add to the 15 yesterday. The pacers dominated proceedings on a green top. Lyon spun it and found reward too. Australia's chase was likely to be tricky, it was. South Africa's pacers found the wickets but got it wide and over the keeper at times which opened the extras tap allowing Australia to take a 1-0 lead.

Nortje to Green, 5 wide

Bouncer goes down leg, it's too high for the batter to consider playing and the keeper to be reaching that. It is five wides and Australia win

Nortje to Labuschagne, 1 run

Length outside off, back-foot defence to the right of point allows a single

Nortje to Labuschagne, no run

Pushes the full ball straight, Nortje gets his hands on it. Hits the stumps at the non-strikers' end. But Green was well in

Param: "Eknath can make all the snarky replies he wants, but it's undeniable that there's a double standard. Sure, there have been plenty comments here about the pitch, but the general discourse and furore is nowhere near what it would have been if this were the subcontinent. Sure, the rating will be "poor", but we'll all shrug and move on to the next one. There will, however, be no allegations of 'tailoring' or 'unfair advantage' or 'bad cricket', as there have been in the past about Indian pitches." The direction of public discourse is hard to predict. Hopefully, it will revolve around the cricket.

Nortje to Labuschagne, no run

Length outside off, left alone

Nortje to Labuschagne, no run

Length over leg, blocked to the fielder to the right of the bowler

Nortje to Labuschagne, no run

Back of length just outside off, beats the full-faced back-foot defence

Nortje to Labuschagne, 5 wide

140 kph bouncer has Marnus ducking. The direction is good, Marnus is quick, and it's way too high for the keeper to take. A stare and a word from Nortje but five-extras has gotten Australia in touching distance.

end of over 79 runs • 2 wickets
AUS: 24/4CRR: 3.42 
Cameron Green0 (2b)
Marnus Labuschagne4 (11b 1x4)
Kagiso Rabada 4-1-13-4
Anrich Nortje 3-0-7-0

Bye bye : "Byes has a very realistic chance of being the leading scorer in this innings. "

Rabada to Green, no run

Fullish ball at the stumps, thick inside edge off the full-faced bat takes it leg side

Rabada to Green, no run

Length just outside off, (de)fended to point

Rabada to Head, OUT

Strangled down leg! Head looks to rise and clip this back-of-length ball fine, as he rotated his wrist. The ball tickled the inside edge and Verreynne took an easier catch this time

Travis Head c †Verreynne b Rabada 0 (1b 0x4 0x6 1m) SR: 0
Rabada to Head, 5 wide

Welcome bumper goes wrong for Rabada. It's short and down leg too, so he lets it go

Rabada to Smith, OUT

Slashed and it's taken by the keeper! Short and wide, bounced a bit more than Smith expected, took the edge. Verreynne moved across to his right and took it around head-height. Rabada's celebrations are subdued but he does smile having secured a three-for now.

Steven Smith c †Verreynne b Rabada 6 (5b 1x4 0x6 8m) SR: 120
Rabada to Smith, FOUR runs

Length outside off, carves a back-foot square drive in front of point

Rabada to Smith, no run

Length in the channel, left alone

end of over 64 runs
AUS: 15/2CRR: 2.50 
Marnus Labuschagne4 (11b 1x4)
Steven Smith2 (2b)
Anrich Nortje 3-0-7-0
Kagiso Rabada 3-1-4-2

Khurram Lal : "What does T-34 means?" The target is 34 runs

Nortje to Labuschagne, no run

Back of length ball rises towards the neck, Marnus goes back and looks to fend it forward. Goes into the ground well in front of short leg

Nortje to Labuschagne, no run

Leading edge off a slightly closing bat face takes the back of length ball to point

Sonal : "Australia is winning, but it won't be a cake walk for them,. SA bowlers steaming Hard. I predict AUS loosing 6/7 wicket before getting Target " This seems more plausible than Australia being all out

Nortje to Labuschagne, no run

Full on off, clipped on the bounce to short leg

Nortje to Labuschagne, no run

Full on leg, leading edge off the closing bat face falls well in front of Rabada, running in from mid-on

Nortje to Labuschagne, FOUR runs

Overpitched on off, front foot 'just a push'. Not even that, the bat looked angled. It was directed to mid-on and that was the area in which it went

Nortje to Labuschagne, no run

Length (closing in on full) around fifth, left alone

Best performances - batters
Spike Graph
Wagon Zone
TM Head
92 runs (96)
13 fours1 six
Productive shot
32 runs
3 fours1 six
K Verreynne
64 runs (96)
8 fours1 six
Productive shot
square drive
11 runs
2 fours0 six
Best performances - bowlers
PJ Cummins
K Rabada
Match details
Brisbane Cricket Ground, Woolloongabba, Brisbane
TossAustralia, elected to field first
Player Of The Match
Series resultAustralia led the 3-match series 1-0
Match numberTest no. 2482
Hours of play (local time)10.00 start, Lunch 12.00-12.40, Tea 14.40-15.00, Close 17.00
Match days17,18 December 2022 - day (5-day match)
TV Umpire
Reserve Umpire
Match Referee
PointsAustralia 12, South Africa 0
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