Australia's Josh Hazlewood, center, celebrate with his team after taking the wicket of South Africa's Hashim Amla for a duck on the first day of play in their cricket test match against South Africa in Perth, Australia, Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
PERTH, Australia (AP) Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma both completed half-centuries to help South Africa recover from a top order batting collapse and reach 175 for five at tea on the first day of the opening test against Australia at the WACA on Thursday.
De Kock was unbeaten on 53 at the end of the second session after Bavuma departed for 51 as the Australians seized the early initiative in the series opener.
Australian pace spearhead Mitchell Starc captured three wickets while his new ball partner Josh Hazelwood Mitchell took two after South Africa won the toss and elected to bat first on a pitch favoring bowlers.
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The tourists were in deep trouble early on when they slumped to 32 for four. Starc made the initial breakthrough when he dismissed South African opener Stephen Cook for a duck on the fourth ball then Hazlewood claimed the prized wicket of Hasim Amla without scoring, then opener Dean Edgar for 12.
Peter Siddle, in his recall to the Australian lineup, had JP Duminy caught behind for 11, leaving the South Africans reeling before the middle order began to rebuild the innings.
Skipper Faf du Plessis made a patient 37 until he edged Starc to slip just after lunch while de Kock and Temba Bavuma's fifties gave the South Africans some hope of building a competitive first innings total.