Green takes maiden five-wicket haul as South Africa fold for 189

Australia 45 for 1 (Warner 32*, Labuschange 5*) trail South Africa 189 (Jansen 59, Verreynne 52, Green 5-27) by 144 runs

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Cameron Green claimed his first five-wicket haul in Test cricket as Australia bowled out South Africa for 189 to take charge of the second Test on Boxing Day at the MCG.

The Australians, who lead the three-game series 1-0, are 45-1 in reply with David Warner, playing his 100th Test, surviving through to stumps on 32 not out alongside Marnus Labuschagne (5no).

Australia captain Pat Cummins raised a few eyebrows by opting to bowl after winning the toss but will feel justified given the state of play, while South Africa have now gone seven Test innings without reaching 200.

The Proteas slumped to 67-5 with local hero Scott Boland claiming the opening wicket of Sarel Erwee (18) before some brilliance from Labuschagne in the field, running out skipper Dean Elgar for 26 with a direct hit before pulling off a flying catch to dismiss Khaya Zondo (5).

But Kyle Verreynne and Marco Jansen led the rearguard, which had the hosts worried before Green took centre stage with his ability to swing the old ball.

Marco Jansen flicks one away•Dec 25, 2022•Associated Press

He dismissed both Verreynne (52) and Jansen (59) with edges to first slip Steve Smith and wicketkeeper Alex Carey respectively.

Verreynne and Jansen had combined for a 108-run stand which was only South Africa’s third 100-run partnership of the calendar year.

From there, Western Australian all-rounder Green made light work of the tail to finish with 5-27 as the Proteas’ final five wickets fell for just 10 runs.

In 12 overs late in the day, Australia lost Usman Khawaja (1) who was caught behind by Verreynne off Kagiso Rabada, while under-fire Warner appeared focused in his milestone game and navigated his way through to stumps.

Starc injury concern for Aussies

Green’s five-wicket haul came at a good time for Australia with Verreynne and Jansen appearing settled, but also with left-arm quick Mitchell Starc nursing a finger injury.

Starc spent time off the field for treatment on the middle finger of his bowling hand after diving to catch Jansen’s lofted shot to long-on, returning with heavy taping on the issue.

Local hero delights again

Boland only finished with 1-34 from his 14 overs but his parochial crowd throughout cheered the Victorian right-arm fast bowler, dating back to his heroics at the same venue 12 months ago in the Ashes when he took 6-7.

Boland got the opening wicket with perfect line and length, drawing an edge from opener Erwee to third slip Khawaja. (SportsMax) 

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