SA always in control as they take 2-0 lead in ODI series against Australia
Whenever the Proteas take to the field at the Bullring in Johannesburg, there is always an air of expectation of something special to unfold. Yesterday, it may not have been anything resembling the “438” game from 2006, but it was still a sweet victory for the South African side as they beat arch-rivals Australia by 142 runs.
The weather made for a glorious day of cricket and, like always, fans who flocked to the Wanderers made for an electrifying atmosphere.
Still with their tails up from Friday’s six-wicket win in neighbouring Centurion, the Proteas were fired up going into the second of five one-day internationals in the series against Australia.
Last time out at SuperSport Park in the first ODI, it was opening batsman Quinton de Kock who became the star of the show when he blasted 178 to set up the Proteas for the first bragging rights of the series.
The left-handed opener-wicketkeeper did not provide the same fire power at his former provincial home, managing to only score 22 runs.
It was his opening partner, Rilee Rossouw, who followed up his half-century (63) from the first ODI with an impressive 75, while he looked comfortable in his partnership with Faf du Plessis.
Du Plessis set a solid foundation with an inspiring captain’s knock of 111 from 92 balls for the match’s only century.
This was the sixth time Du Plessis has scored an ODI century.
His knock was authoritative, calm and put the Proteas in a commanding position from early on in the match.
Farhaan Behardien (13) and David Miller (26) may not have made mammoth contributions with the bat, but the experienced JP Duminy was on hand to prove any doubters that he is still capable of big knocks.
The 32-year-old did not hold back as he allowed his bat to do the talking. He went on to blast 82 runs off just 58 balls.
He will consider himself unfortunate not to have gone on to make a century after playing-on a ball from Mitchell Marsh.
Wayne Parnell (8) and Andile Phehlukwayo (13) finished off the Proteas’ batting innings, guiding the side to set a comfortable target of 361/6.
The target was not going to be an easy mountain to climb for Australia.
Things were made a whole lot more difficult for the visitors when star bowler Kagiso Rabada claimed the first Aussie scalp (Aaron Finch) just two balls into his second over.
The Proteas bowlers did well to restrain the Australian batting lineup, which could on any other day fire on all cylinders.
Again, it was the pair that finished off the Proteas’ batting innings that shone with the ball too.
Phehlukwayo, who picked up four wickets in Centurion, continued bagging the scalps with figures of 2/59 from 6.4 overs, while Parnell proved the leading wicket-taker of the match with 3/40.
It was an allround bowling effort as Dale Steyn claimed 1/37, Rabada 2/31, Imran Tahir 1/31 and Duminy 1/17.
The Proteas, who now lead the Aussies 2-0, will be hoping to seal the series as early as the third ODI to be played on Wednesday in Durban.