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Bowlers set up dominant Proteas win

A superb bowling performance from the South African attack ensured a routine 7-wicket victory for the Proteas in the first ODI against Australia.

FILE: Picture: Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - A superb bowling performance from the South African attack ensured a routine six-wicket victory for the Proteas in the first ODI against Australia in Perth.

South Africa managed to bowl the Aussies out for 152 within 40 overs to ensure more pain for Australian cricket. The wickets shared amongst a dynamic pace attack while spinner Imran Tahir also chipped in with two wickets of his own.

Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis won the toss and elected to field. His opening pair of Dale Steyn and Lungi Ngidi justifies that call almost immediately and set the tone for the rest of the innings and perhaps the match.

Bowling with pace and control on a Perth wicket that offered just enough for the quicks, Steyn looked backed to his dangerous best and got the wickets of Travis Head and D’Arcy Short cheaply.

New ball partner Ngidi confirmed once more that South Africa have another fast bowling gem in their hands, he got the big wicket of Australian skipper Aaron Finch to leave Australia reeling on 8 for 3.

It didn’t get any easier for Australia after Ngidi and Steyn ended their spells. The Proteas second wave of bowlers gave them no respite, Kagiso Rabada was quick and economical without reward.

However, it was Andile Phehlukwayo who got the next wicket, he followed that up with two more to end with figures of 3 for 33 in eight overs.

A mixture Phehlukwayo’s wickets, a silly run out and Imran Tahir helped ensure an Australian collapse. It was only Alex Carey and Nathan Coulter-Nile who showed some fight with for bat for the home side, but both were out in the 30’s.

It was Ngidi who got the final wicket of Coulter-Nile in the 39th over, Australia were all out for 152 to ensure the Aussies rough ride since the ball tampering fallout continued.

For the Proteas attack, it was vindication for their team selection with Steyn ending with figures of 2 for 18, Ngidi 2/26, Phehlukwayo 3 for 33 and Tahir 2 for 39.

The Proteas experimented with a strong bowling attack and it paid handsome dividends, not it was up to the six batsmen to do their bit.

In their reply, openers Quinton de Kock and Reeza Hendricks got South Africa off the best possible start and made it look as if they were batting on a completely different pitch to Australia.

They managed to navigate their way to 28 without loss before the dinner break with de Kock, as you would expect, the aggressor while Hendricks was more circumspect but treated the crowd to some cracking off side play.

After systematically grinding down the Australian side, de Kock eventually gave his wicket away with one attacking shot too many, the Proteas were 94 for 1 with de Kock heading into the pavilion having made 47 from 40 balls.

Aiden Markram joined Hendricks at the crease, with Amla out injured but almost certain to board the plane to the World Cup, it was Hendricks and Markram auditioning for a possible number three spot vacancy.

The pair continued South Africa’s dominance with both batsman playing some fine strokes but Hendricks was next to go, caught softly at mid on for 44. The Lions top order player made a good case for his inclusion next year.

Captain du Plessis joined Markram with only 31 runs needed off 168 balls.

Markram continued scoring at over a run a ball, his stroke play included some good pull shots and other leg side strokes.

Unfortunately with only 10 runs required, Markram chopped on a Stoinis delivery and was bowled for 36 off 32 balls, a solid display from the young batsman in need of runs.

Soon after, new batsman Heinrich Klaasen didn’t last much longer and was dismissed cheaply to leave South Africa with 4 wickets down.

It was David Miller and of course du Plessis who took South Africa to their target with bomber 20 overs to spare.

An six-wicket win was indicative of South Africa’s dominance during the match and also in recent times over their Australian counterparts.

The Proteas take a 1-0 series lead with two ODI’s left to play.

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