James Pattinson appeals for an LBW decision against Graeme Smith. The South African captain was given out after a video referral. Photo: Getty Images
Australia stuck to their play book to dismiss South African captain Graeme Smith but little else went to plan for the hosts as the Proteas reached 1-90 at lunch on the opening day of the first Test at the Gabba on Friday.
A leaked Australian dossier on every South African player indicated they would try to catch Smith on the crease and trap him lbw.
South African opening batsman Alviro Petersen looked assured playing off the back foot. Photo: Getty Im
And true to form, fiery quick James Pattinson (1-29 off nine overs) dismissed his man for 10 - but only after a successful video review.
However, opener Alviro Petersen (45 not out) and world No.2 Test batsman Hashim Amla (29 not out) dug in to steer South Africa safely to lunch with their unbeaten 61-run second-wicket stand.
Smith won the toss on Friday, setting up an intriguing duel with Pattinson who appeared to stick by the alleged blueprint.
Hashim Amla of South Africa threatens spidercam with a six from the bowling of Nathan Lyon. Photo: Getty Images
After setting a heavy leg-side field, Australia thought they had Smith caught behind off Ben Hilfenhaus for four but a video review showed the leg-side ball came off the South African captain’s pad.
They were more successful with their next review after Pattinson’s confident lbw shout was initially knocked back.
Smith was eventually given his marching orders, ending a 27-ball stay that reduced South Africa to 1-29 in the 11th over.Pattinson hoped he had struck again soon after but Amla survived a confident lbw shout before scoring.
James Pattinson was the most threatening of the Australian bowlers. Photo: Getty Images
The patient Amla soon settled and, at one stage, threatened to smash the spider cam - the 3D system suspended from cables at the Gabba - when he thumped offspinner Nathan Lyon (0-17 off three overs) for a straight six.
Lyon was included in the Australian XI by captain Michael Clarke at the expense of left-arm speedster Mitchell Starc despite the Gabba sporting a green tinge and the three-Test series opener starting under grey skies.
In contrast, the No.1-ranked Proteas surprised by choosing a four-pronged pace attack, promoting the uncapped Rory Kleinveldt and dropping legspinner Imran Tahir.