Keshav Maharaj had finished with a five-wicket haul in Australia's innings and it didn't take long for spin to play a key role in South Africa's innings as well, when Lyon's second delivery flew off Dean Elgar's leading edge and was brilliantly snapped up by the bowler diving to his right.
Australia's vice-captain David Warner revealed a heart-to-heart conversation with his embattled opening partner Cameron Bancroft after the younger man's swift dismissal on the first morning of the Durban Test match, in a manner that suggested a mind working overtime to find answers to the vexing questions posed at global level.
Marsh brought up his third test 50 in 125 balls and is now top scorer for the Australians in their first innings as he weathered the second new ball with a circumspect approach.
"I like to go under the radar".
Steve Smith said: "Conditions wise it's as similar as you get to back home but you're still away from home and they're a good team".
On getting Smith, Maharaj said: "To gain the reward is a nice feeling".
"He's put a lot of big scores on the board in the last six months", Starc told SEN Radio.
Ball-tracking replays suggested the sharp-turning delivery was missing leg stump by some margin, although not everybody was convinced.
At at the other end Marsh had been very disciplined, having resumed on 32 and realising the importance of accompanying the tail to extend the Australian first innings as much as possible.
Smith's partnership with Warner was worth 56 after Australia started slowly and were 15-1 and 39-2.
Usman Khawaja failed to have an impact with the bat as well as he was caught behind off the bowling of Kagiso Rabada for 14.
Warner was caught off a flying outside edge to AB de Villiers at slip on the last ball before lunch, giving Philander his second wicket of the session and South Africa the first momentum of the first South Africa-Australia four-test series in almost half a century.
South Africa go head-to-head with Australia in the first of four Test matches starting today.
Australia will play South Africa and Sony Ten Network have the rights.
And it is only in 1994 and 2011 where the South Africans have held a series lead against Australia here, which indicates the importance of the first Test that started in Durban on Thursday morning.
Smith hit 11 boundaries in another assured innings, but fell before tea when he edged Maharaj attempting a cut and De Villiers took a simple catch after the ball clattered into De Kock's gloves and looped up in the air to end a stand of 56.
Mitchell Marsh showed discipline to stick with the Australian lower order. South Africa had turned out dynamite tracks for three recent Tests against India, and if there was anything deliberate about those surfaces, then someone underestimated the new era of India's pace brigade.
Mitchell Marsh said the tactic was more of a joke than a protest, before repeating it in the press conference.
AB de Villiers said that while plenty of words had been exchanged on the field, it was not at the same level of aggression he had witnessed in the corresponding series here in 2014. The home team had no TV reviews to overturn the decision after using them both early on.