Australia A hit back after Steyn burst

South Africa made a strong start to their tour of Australia on Friday, with Dale Steyn getting among the wickets early on, but their attack stalled later on the opening day against Australia A at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The tourists reduced the home side to 44-3 in the morning session on the first of the three-day match but a 122-run stand before tea, and another of 133 after the break, helped the Australians to 325-7 at the close of play.

Steyn, the world's top ranked bowler, finished with 3-43 from his 18 overs, while uncapped Rory Kleinveldt, the fourth quick in the South African party, ended the day with figures of 2-45. Spinner Imran Tahir also grabbed a brace at the cost of 114 runs, but Vernon Philander, ranked second behind Steyn in the bowling world rankings, came up empty and conceded 76 runs in his 16 overs.

Phillip Hughes, who hammered the Proteas bowlers in South Africa three years ago, did his campaign to earn a recall little good, making five runs at number three before chopping a Kleinveldt delivery onto his own stumps.

Another Australian looking for a recall, allrounder Steve Smith, made 67 before being trapped lbw by Tahir having shared a partnership of 122 with lefthanded opener Rob Quiney (85). Even better was to come for the hosts after tea when Alex Doolan and Glenn Maxwell dug in to put on 133 runs for the seventh wicket.

Steyn ended the partnership just before the close of play when he had Maxwell caught behind for 64 by wicketkeeper AB de Villiers. Doolan (76 not out) and wicketkeeper Tim Paine (one not out) will resume on Saturday barring a declaration.

Brief Scores: Australia 'A' 325 for 7 (Rob Quiney 85, Alex Doolan 76 not out; Dale Steyn 3/43, Rory Kleinveldt 2/45) vs South Africa XI.

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