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  South Africa vs Australia: Du Plessis powers South Africa to big win

South Africa vs Australia: Du Plessis powers South Africa to big win

AGENCIES
Published : Oct 3, 2016, 12:21 am IST
Updated : Oct 3, 2016, 12:21 am IST

For the second time in the course of an elongated weekend, Australia’s revamped ODI outfit has been humbled by South Africa who steamrolled to a 142-run win at The Wanderers Stadium.

For the second time in the course of an elongated weekend, Australia’s revamped ODI outfit has been humbled by South Africa who steamrolled to a 142-run win at The Wanderers Stadium.

The win, the second-highest in terms of runs that the Proteas have recorded over their fierce rivals in the 50-over format, comes in the wake of last Friday’s six-wicket drubbing with almost 15 overs to spare. And which has the South Africans poised to topple the reigning world champions in the five match Momentum Cup series that concludes over the next 10 days with games in Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town.

Set an unprecedented run chase of 362 — Australia’s previous best to win was 334 in 2011 — the tourists’ top-order batting was once more as patchy as the badly scarred, gravel strewn Wanderers playing surface. Where a recent corporate party staged by the venue’s private owners necessitated an urgent turf transplant and which, upon inspection by match officials pre-game, appeared so unsatisfactory there was consideration given to calling off the match before it began.

Which might have been a preferable outcome for the Australians given the manner in which it panned out across the subsequent hours when they again coughed up too many runs and scrounged just 219 of their own.

Having managed to capture just two South African wickets in the first 25 overs of their bowling innings, the Australians surrendered five of their own in the same time frame. The last of those being David ‘Bull’ Warner who had emerged as his team’s sole hope of challenging the target at the ‘Bullring’ when he made it to 50. But whose dismissal upon reaching the milestone left it for Travis Head (51) and Matthew Wade (33) to push deep into the final overs in the hope of launching one final, brave assault.

A challenge that never materialised as Australia were bowled out in the 38th over. In opting to bowl upon finally calling correctly at a coin toss, captain Steve Smith effectively laid down a challenge to his batters to chase down whatever total the South Africans might manage to post.

Scores: South Africa 361/6 in 50 overs (Faf du Plessis 111, J.P. Duminy 82, R. Rossouw 75) bt Australia 219 in 37.4 overs (D. Warner 50, T. Head 51, W. Parnell 3/40)

Location: South Africa, Gauteng, Johannesburg