South Africa have taken a 1-0 lead in the three-ODI series with a convincing six-wicket win over Australia in the opening match. The Aussies failed to combat the pace attack of the visiting side in Perth and are now in danger of suffering their fifth straight ODI series defeat.
Winning the toss, the Proteas sent Australia to bat first. Except for a 33-run innings from wicketkeeper Alex Carey and another late rescue act from Nathan Coulter-Nile where he contributed 34 runs to the total, Australia put up a poor batting display.
The pace-bowling unit of South Africa launched an all-out assault, bundling out the opponents for a paltry 152 runs. Dale Steyn initiated the collapse in Australia’s batting lineup by removing Travis Head (1) and D’Arcy Short (0) in the third over and Lungi Ngidi dismissed the Aussie skipper, Aaron Finch (5). Andile Phehlukwayo later decked the middle-order by taking three wickets in his three successive overs.
The pressure continued to mount on the hosts as Pat Cummins was run out by David Miller. Imran Tahir then struck twice before Lungi put an end to Australia’s innings by bagging the final wicket.
In reply, South Africa were off to an impressive start, with 94 runs coming from the opening partnership. Quinton de Kock added 47 runs to the total and was sent back to the hut by Coulter-Nile.
Reeza Hendricks made 44 runs and Aiden Markram also made a substantial contribution by posting 36 runs. Marcus Stoinis dismissed both and took a total of three scalps in a bid to unsettle the opponents, but that was not enough to keep them from reaching the target with more than 20 overs remaining.
The last two ODIs will be held on November 9 and 11 in Adelaide and Hobart, respectively.
AUS - 152 (38.1 Overs)
RSA - 153/4 (29.2 Overs)
South Africa won by 6 wickets
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