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Injury hit South Africa take three early wickets

22 November, 2012

South Africa were rocked by injuries to pacemen Vernon Philander and Jacques Kallis but rattled through Australia's top order to leave the hosts 102-3 at lunch on the opening day of the second test.

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Philander was a late withdrawal with a back injury but Kallis had taken two wickets before taking himself from the field after suffering an apparent hamstring injury in an eventful opening session.

The injuries were a hammer blow for South Africa, who had already lost all-rounder JP Duminy for the series with an Achilles injury and were sent in to bowl by Australia captain Michael Clarke on a traditionally batsman-friendly deck.

Opener David Warner blasted a half-century for Australia and was unbeaten on 67 with the in-form Clarke alongside him on 18 at the break.

The pair steadied Australia after a torrid phase where they lost three wickets in three overs and will still hold hopes of exploiting the Adelaide Oval's short boundaries and lightning quick outfield to build a big total.

Warner, in belligerent mood after being dismissed cheaply in the drawn first test in Brisbane, propelled the hosts to 43 without loss as Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel struggled for penetration in brilliant morning sunshine.

Enter all rounder Kallis, who made an immediate impact by dismissing Ed Cowan for 10 with his third ball, a searing yorker that struck Cowan's toe before deflecting off the bat and looping back to the bowler for a simple catch.

In his second over, Kallis bowled Ricky Ponting for four when the former Australia captain's footwork fell apart to leave him slumped on the deck after the ball had clattered into his off-stump.

In the over between Kallis's strikes, a re-energised Morkel had Rob Quiney caught behind for a duck by Graeme Smith at first slip.

Clarke, who scored a brilliant unbeaten 259 after coming in at 40-3 to turn the Brisbane test around, was called in for another rescue mission and appeared in fine touch as he moved to steady Australia's innings with Warner providing the fireworks.

Warner weathered a nervous few overs from Steyn and Morkel but quickly found his groove, blasting a pair of boundaries on consecutive deliveries from each of the bowlers.

The 26-year-old lefthander rode his luck at times, with a thick edge sailing over the keeper's head for a six off Morkel, but he survived to reach 67 off 79 balls at lunch.

Rory Kleinveldt, who went wicketless on debut in Brisbane, replaced Philander in the attack.

"Vernon must have slept very badly last night and woke up with a bad back and he's out of the test match so Rory Kleinveldt will come in for him," South Africa skipper Smith said after losing the toss.

Faf du Plessis makes his debut in the side in place of Duminy, while spinner Tahir was recalled after being benched at the Gabba.


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