South Africa v Australia, 1st ODI, Centurion October 19, 2011

Australia cruise to win in rain-reduced match


Australia 183 for 4 (Ponting 63, Clarke 44) beat South Africa 129 (Johnson 3-20, Cummins 3-28) by 93 runs (D/L method)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Australia were inconvenienced more by rain than South Africa as they rampaged through the hosts in a truncated first ODI in Centurion, winning by 93 runs under Duckworth-Lewis calculations.

Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke and Michael Hussey guided the tourists to 183 for 4 from 29 overs, setting a target of 223, before the debutant Pat Cummins and Mitchell Johnson shared six wickets to lead their team on a merry path in the field.

The ball swung and bounced in greasy conditions, and in a significant portent for the matches to come, Johnson gained the kind of movement through the air that had helped make him so fearsome on Australia's 2009 visit to South Africa.

Mitchell Marsh, the other teenaged debutant, claimed a wicket in his first over. The spin of Xavier Doherty was also useful as the Proteas subsided, none passing 30 in a searching captaincy introduction for the interim leader Hashim Amla.

Sent off by rain at 3.57pm local time when a promising 96 for 1 after 19 overs, Australia managed to collect another 87 runs in 10 overs when play finally resumed at 8.30pm.

Ponting and Clarke resumed at the rapid pace the equation required, before Australia's captain was unfortunately out when Ponting's drive rebounded off Johan Botha's fingers as Clarke was backing up. Hussey, though, scooted along with typical late-innings speed, and Marsh managed one boundary in his first innings.

South Africa's chase was immediately inconvenienced by the sight of Doug Bollinger and Johnson hooping the ball around. Bollinger swiftly accounted for Graeme Smith, given lbw to one that did not swing but may have been passing over the top of the stumps, and Johnson showed the disconcerting swerve he gained two years ago could be repeated this time around.

Cummins replaced Johnson at first change, and while his first ball in ODIs was slapped impudently over cover for six by Amla, the 18-year-old was soon repeating the trick of his first two Twenty20 internationals by claiming multiple wickets in an over. Jacques Kallis dragged an expansive stroke onto his stumps, before JP Duminy was dismissed for the third time in as many innings by Cummins when he parried indeterminately to Clarke at second slip.

Marsh had Amla caught neatly by Brad Haddin from a squirted drive in his first over, and Doherty struck twice via referrals. First he had David Miller caught at point after the umpires at first adjudged a bump ball, then Mark Boucher was lbw on review to a delivery that drifted towards leg stump and straightened enough to convince Hawk-Eye's ball-tracker.

Johnson added his name to the list of wicket-takers via Faf du Plessis' desperate swing and an outfield catch, as Australia's chief concern turned from South Africa's batting to the skies above. Rain threatened to re-appear, but the final result was not in doubt from the moment the minimum 20 overs had been completed.

Australia had been unable to consider Shaun Marsh and Shane Watson due to injury, and so handed limited-overs debuts to the allrounder Mitchell Marsh, a day before his 20th birthday and Cummins who had yet to take a list A wicket for his state.

David Warner was joined at the top of the batting order by Ponting, an occasional opener down the years, and it was the younger man who swung into early action, gliding Lonwabo Tsotsobe's first ball through point, then cracking a trio of boundaries from Dale Steyn, the last two via the generous avenues of a no ball and a free-hit.

Next ball Steyn corrected, finding the ideal length and a hint of swing to beat Warner's forward prod via the inside edge. This left Clarke and Ponting to set the course of the innings against bowlers they will see plenty of throughout the next month.

Lights were employed inside 10 overs as the skies darkened, and Clarke and Ponting negotiated the odd awkward delivery by Morne Morkel while keeping the run-rate around five. Steyn swung the ball in his second spell but could not split the partnership before thunder, then rain, arrived.

Returning to the pitch more than four hours later, Ponting and Clarke fired off a series of smart strokes before Clarke's ill-luck, and Ponting went on until he sliced Steyn to backward point. Brad Haddin was sacrificed in the effort to lift the run-rate, before Hussey and Marsh pushed the total into dimensions that proved far too vast for South Africa.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on October 22, 2011, 6:33 GMT

    Awesome Batting by Ponting and Awesome bowling by Pat Cummins.

  • Naveen on October 21, 2011, 15:37 GMT

    Let me tell u guys neither Rudolph nor Albie have made it in the Initial 15 Squad, So their is no way that they can be playing a match until and unless someone in the Initial team gets Injured and they would be called back as replacement. SA Team looks more composed and are better on papers than the Aussie squad. I feel Tahir needs to play a game, He is a very talented lad..Smith looks to be out of form for ages now and should be replaced with some1 better.

  • Mandeep on October 21, 2011, 12:37 GMT

    This new lad Pat Cummins is really impressive.

  • Sharky on October 21, 2011, 10:55 GMT

    Rudolph in for Smith please, otherwise Rudolph is gonna break every domestic record there is. Let Smith do some yards and try to score Rudolph's runs in domestic cricket. Tahir in for Faff du Plessis (except when they play Green Fast Pitches). Botha can bat a bit and brings something diffrent than Tahir's Legspin. But with two new balls from each side, two spinners won't have the same impact as in the past. And why not Albie Morkel for Dave Miller????? Why not??

  • Andrew on October 21, 2011, 2:33 GMT

    @Athrylith - Steyn is a very good ODI bowler, its just that he is a GREAT Test bowler. Sometimes in COMPARISON, he doesn't stack up in ODIs. This is only when comparing Steyn the Test bowler to Steyn the ODI bowler. I think Morkel is a more effective ODI bowler! The reason IMO is probably the Vettori/Murali effect - those bowlers being far & away the best bowlers in their sides, would have batsmen not taking many risks against them - happy with 0/35 off 10. I think Morkel gets wickets partly because its NOT Steyn bowling to the batsmen (apart from the fact he is a very good bowler of course).

  • Gavin on October 20, 2011, 15:32 GMT

    Rudolph and Tahir in for the next game please. Lets field a full strength squad for a change eh?

  • Noman on October 20, 2011, 14:31 GMT

    @Gupta.Ankur... You got to be kidding me. Steyn averages 27 a piece with a strike rate of 32 which I think in the modern one day game is very good, considering how much it is wavering in thefavour of the batsmen. I agree on Smith though. They keep playing him again and again. The most frustrating part is if they play him for the next 2,3 games and he goes on to get a good score then he is going to stay in the team for some 20 more matches I suppose without doing anything. Rudolph comparatively has a better technique and is not all leg side guy. He has one of the coaching manual cover drives they say ... Hope to see him in green and gold soon ...

  • Dummy4 on October 20, 2011, 12:11 GMT

    South Africa traditionally has the mental block of Palying Australia ,Impress with Aussies improving since World cup debacleI fthey approache the same they once again come up with dominating force as the World once feared off

  • Mark on October 20, 2011, 9:42 GMT

    It is important to remember that those South Africans who have played cricket of late, have played T20 and some none at all. So the loss and the T20 play is no surprise. I am sure they will improve on Sunday. Smith should be playing franchise cricket so he can find form before the tests. Steyn's bowling improved after the rain break, so I do not think the second ODI will be a walk over as number one was. It still boggles my mind that no tour of Zimbabwe or Kenya was arranged to get the SA team ready for an important series like this. Aussies come off a Sri Lanka series.

  • Robert on October 20, 2011, 9:32 GMT

    @timmyw. The reason for that score to chase and not the score Australia got purely has to do with the wickets Australia lost. DL works because it takes wickets lost into account and is very fair. Would you consider it fair if SA were to chase Australia's score and only have 4 wickets to do it? Because I would not think it fair if they had our score to chase with a full compliment.

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