AB resists but Johnson destroys top order

Australia

The man with the handle-bar moustache dominated proceedings on the second day of the first Test between South Africa and Australia as he picked up four wickets that left the home side in all sorts of trouble.

The man with the handle-bar moustache dominated proceedings on the second day of the first Test between South Africa and Australia as he picked up four wickets that left the home side in all sorts of trouble.

When play was called off due to a typical Highveld thunderstorm on Thursday, the Proteas were dangling at 140 for six in reply to the 397 the visiting side posted in their first innings.

The home side's hopes now rest on the shoulders of local lad AB de Villiers, who turned out to be the only batsman who showed no respect to Mitchell Johnsonl who was often darting it in at more then 150km/h.

Johnson produced a splendid display of fast bowling and had Graeme Smith in all sorts of trouble early on when he ran in slightly wider of the crease to ensure that he could aim the ball at the Proteas captain's ribcage.

Smith was dismissed for 10 and was joined in the dressing room shortly thereafter by Alviro Petersen, who only added two runs to the team total.

Petersen's batting in recent times has left much to be desired and it would not come as a surprise if the opener has to give up his place in the team if he comes up short in the second innings.

Even more concerning from a Proteas perspective is the slump specialist batsman Hashim Amla is experiencing.

Amla departed for 17 after he was trapped lbw by Peter Siddle while Faf du Plessis was hardly the rock at number four the Proteas were used to having in their camp.

Du Plessis received a peach from Johnson whose eyes lit up at the prospect of bowling on the wicket when he saw the bounce Morne Morkel was extracting from the wicket.

JP Duminy again got in only to get out as poor shot selection cost him his wicket.

Although he batted admirably for a while, Ryan McLaren may not have seen the ball that dislodged his bails as it hit the stumps at 151km/h.

While Mitchell was outstanding, the overall standard of batting by the Proteas can only be described as below par.

De Villiers, who is unbeaten on 52 will battle it out on the third day alongside Robin Peterson who has scored 10 valuable runs.

And as was the case on the first day, Australia had their tails up 70 percent of the time. Should the trend continue, the match might be over by lunch on the fourth day.

<b>Michael Mentz in Centurion</b>

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