13 Nov 2016

Australia in trouble in Tasmania

7:21 am on 13 November 2016

Australia crashed to 18 for 5, were skittled for 85, then watched South Africa reach 171 for 5 at stumps on a chaotic first day of the second Test in Hobart.

Steve Smith.

Steve Smith. Photo: Photosport

Australia relived their Trent Bridge nightmare in woeful fashion, falling victim to an inspired Vernon Philander to produce the nation's lowest Test total at home since 1984.

Australia unravelled spectacularly after being sent in under overcast skies on a green-tinged Bellerive pitch, as was the case in Nottingham last year when they were bowled out for 60 in the Ashes decider.

An unbeaten captain's knock of 48 from Steve Smith represented more than half of Australia's total.

The collapse meant the Proteas were still well placed to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series, even after Mitchell Starc started the final session with three wickets in the space of 10 deliveries.

Josh Hazlewood also removed captain Faf du Plessis and a well-set Hashim Amla for 47 after tea, while Joe Burns missed half chances at short leg when Temba Bavuma was on seven and 27.

Bavuma is 38 not out, while Quinton de Kock will resume on 28.

The hosts have a mountain of work to do on day two, when heavy rain is predicted, as they seek to snap a four-Test losing streak that has already ramped up the pressure on coach Darren Lehmann and plenty of others at Cricket Australia.

Philander was on a hat-trick during a near-unplayable opening spell, which featured the scalps of David Warner, Usman Khawaja and Adam Voges. It only ended when he trudged off the field with a shoulder injury after a mid-pitch collision with Smith.

Philander returned to the attack after lunch, dismissing Joe Mennie and Nathan Lyon to finish with figures of 5-21 from 10.1 overs.

Debutant Callum Ferguson, added to Australia's XI at the expense of Mitch Marsh in an effort to shore up their misfiring middle order, was run out for three by substitute fielder Dane Vilas.

It was Australia's lowest total in 32 years in a home Test, when the West Indies blasted them out for 76 at the WACA.

It would have been so much worse if not for Smith.

Smith and Mennie were the only Australians to reach double figures. Australia's top seven batsmen, discounting the top-scorer, contributed just 12 runs.

Smith also managed to temporarily take Philander out of the attack, but with a bump - not his bat.

Philander, who boasted figures of 3-2 early on, was hurt in the 13th over.

Philander turned and appealed animatedly after a delivery struck Smith's pads, with the skipper accidentally clashing with the right-armer while taking off for a quick single.