The Proteas went into the 2nd ODI against Australia with an extra batsman, but the remaining bowlers set up a three-wicket win in Perth on Sunday.
Australia won the toss and elected to bat first. That was as good as it got for the hosts as Morne Morkel made the most of his opportunity to open the bowling. He struck with the fifth ball of the match to dismiss the dangerous Warner for a duck. The big quick finished his first spell of five overs with the impressive figures of 2-12, which helped reduce Australia to 34-4.
George Bailey and Mitchell Marsh then went about resurrecting the innings. Bailey didn’t enjoy the luck he had on Friday as Faf du Plessis took a sharp catch off the bowling of Vernon Philander to see the back of the stand in captain for 25.
Matthew Wade and Marsh then struck up a promising partnership, taking the score to 125-5 at the start of the batting powerplay. The field restrictions saw the return of Morkel who struck twice in his first over back, removing Wade and Glenn Maxwell. He then got rid of Mitchell Johnson to complete his five-for, leaving Australia in a mess at 129-8.
Marsh cleared the ropes a few times while running out of partners, on his way to an 88-ball 67. He was the last man to go as Dale Steyn wrapped up the innings to finish with figures of 3-35. Morkel was the real star, though, as his career best return of 5-21 in eight overs allowed South Africa to dismiss Australia for just 154 in the 42nd over.
Despite an early wobble in the chase, South Africa cruised to a commanding victory with 22.2 overs to spare. Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla, who played his 100th ODI, went cheaply to leave the scoreboard reading 21-2 in the seventh over.
Rilee Rossouw shifted the momentum back into South Africa’s favour, sending the ball to the boundary regularly to score a dominant 25-ball 30. He will be disappointed that he couldn’t finish the job, especially seeing as he has struggled for runs in the format and gave his wicket away softly to the part time off-spin of Maxwell.
AB de Villiers walked to the crease at No 5 and once again showed why he is regarded as the best player in the world. He made it look too easy, taking the team to the brink of victory with a fluent 48 off just 41 balls.
At the other end Faf du Plessis and Farhaan Behardien fell off consecutive deliveries, which would have made some South African supporters a bit nervous at 113-5. De Villiers was still at the crease, though, and he took the team to within 14 runs of victory. David Miller and Steyn knocked off the remaining runs to seal a three-wicket win.
Report compiled by Gareth Stevens.