Proteas whitewash Australia to create history at Newlands

South Africa handed Australia their first ever whitewash in a five-match series.

FILE: The veteran leg spinner Imran Tahir. Picture: OfficialCSA.

CAPE TOWN - South Africa made history at Newlands as they handed the number one ranked one-day international (ODI) side their first ever whitewashing in a five-match series after a 31-run win last night.

Proteas captain Faf Du Plessis won the toss and elected to bat and it immediately looked like the correct decision.

Opener Hashim Amla showcased his quality with a short but very watchable off-side master class, caressing a handful of boundaries with the quintessential Amla elegance.

Unfortunately, he was out for 25 immediately after the first wicket of partner Quinton De Kock with the score on 37.

Skipper Du Plessis followed the opening pair only 15 runs later as South Africa were left in a shaky position with three wickets down.

However, the left-handed duo of Rilee Rossouw and JP Duminy consolidated the innings while accelerating the run rate.

Their stand, which was littered with boundaries, put South Africa firmly in the driving seat ending on 178 when Duminy fell for 73.

Rilee Rossouw continued on his merry way and fine form in the series as his controlled aggression dented the Australian morale in the field.

He showcased some beautiful strokes, powering his way to his third ODI century, which handed him the Man of the Series award (scored two 50's in the series).

There was some late fireworks from the likes of David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo and Kagiso Rabada - which added some gloss to the score at the back end when it seemed the Proteas would run out of steam.

The gauntlet was laid down for the Aussies, they needed to break the record of the highest score chased at Newlands if they were to avoid an embarrassing 5-0 whitewash.

After a subdued start by Australia, the belligerent David Warner suddenly sparked into life smashing 29 runs in the space of two overs to take the visitors past 60 within the power-play.

He, alongside partner Aaron Finch, who himself woke from his slumber slashed a series of boundaries to shift the momentum just a touch.

Suddenly, with the pair flying and the run rate at a respectable level - coupled with a full quotient of wickets in hand - the match was beautifully poised.

However, the ever-reliable leg spin of Imran Tahir got the wickets of Finch and captain Steve Smith in his first over to settle the Proteas and snatch back the initiative with the score at 72.

From then on it was Warner fighting a valiant lone battle, although all-rounders Mitchell Marsh and Travis Head played well for their 35 but failed to stay for an extended period as Warner's partner in crime, which the belligerent left-hander yearned for.

When Head was dismissed it seemed Warner would run out of partners which eventually occurred. However, the opener kept hope alive in the Aussie camp as he smashed 24 boundaries en route to his Man of the Match innings of 173.

He quickly ran out of partners and in a bid to keep the strike was run out when attempting a streaky second run, with the match effectively over with score at 288/9.

Australia were eventually bowled out for 296 in the 49th over with seamers Kyle Abbot and Kagiso Rabada grabbing 2 wickets each as well as Tahir.