First One-Day International

South Africa v Australia, 2005-06

At Centurion, February 26, 2006. South Africa won by six wickets (D/L method). Toss: Australia.

A typically aggressive, unbeaten century from Smith made short work of a straightforward revised target of 204 in 41 overs which - after rain interrupted each innings - South Africa passed with 21 balls to spare. Smith was full of muscular drives and leg-side punches, while de Villiers put his team so far ahead of the run-rate they could only really lose if they were bowled out. Injuries to Ponting and Symonds deprived Australia of much of their batting bite, and when Gilchrist top-edged a pull in the eighth over they were struggling at 25 for three on a damp and seaming pitch. But although conditions did improve as the match progressed, they were never impossible, and the fifties from Clarke and Hussey were too cautious. Pollock was the pick of a disciplined South African attack. Although, under the regulations, the teams had to name a supersub, the ICC had already decided to junk the experiment - and both sides agreed to revert to Law 1.1 for this series and play a traditional eleven a side.

Man of the Match: G. C. Smith. Attendance: 14,427.

© John Wisden & Co.