South Africa brushed aside their recent inconsistent form to romp home by 74-runs to stun Australia in the first ODI and the series now moves to Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein with South Africa sensing a chance to win the series.
A maiden Heinrich Klaasen century continued South Africa’s strangle hold over Australia in the ODIs as he led his side to victory in Paarl.
A rare failure for captain Quinton de Kock (15) notwithstanding, South Africa posted a very competitive 291/7 in Paarl. All thanks to Klaasen (123) and a late blitz from David Miller (64 off 70). There were runs for debutante Kyle Verreynne (48) as well.
Lungi Ngidi (3/30) led with the ball to make sure the Australian challenge fizzled out. Overall, it was an all-round effort that would have made every home fan happy. However, the challenge is to remain consistent and find a way to keep the performances coming.
Australia were at level pegging for most parts of the game. With the ball they reduced South Africa to 48/3 and threatened to fold them out to a sub-par score. Then in the chase, they were 174/3 after 33.3 overs looking set for an onslaught. The final losing margin doesn’t do justice to how close the Aussies were in running the hosts tight.
Regardless, there are so many areas that the visitors need to improve themselves. The middle overs didn’t prove to be beneficial with the ball, leaving the death bowlers short of ammunition. With the bat too, the lower middle-order folded pretty cheaply without fight.
South Africa have shown that they start a series well – be it the Tests against England, the T20Is against both England and Australia or this ODI series. The key is to close the series well and that is where they will be challenged. Australia will be stung by whatever happened in the first ODI and will be looking to bounce back. A chance to change the team composition could be their key to revival, as the series remains on the line.
History & Statistics
- South Africa have won 8 of their last 9 completed home ODIs.
- South Africa have won 9 of their last 11 ODIs at this venue, tying one and losing the other.
- The team batting first has won the last 6 ODIs and all the three H2Hs at this venue.
- Australia have lost 11 of their last 17 overseas ODIs (not including the neutral venues).
- Australia have lost their last six H2H ODIs in South Africa and have lost nine of their last ten H2H matches.
Quinton de Kock has seven 50+ scores in his last ten home bilateral ODIs, ending as South Africa’s top-scorer in six matches and picking up four ‘Man of the match’ awards.
Steve Smith has scores of 85, 98, 131, and 76 (latest) in his last four ODIs – all as Australia’s top-scorer.