At Melbourne, December 9 (day/night). South Africa won by seven wickets. Toss: Australia.
South Africa began the tournament with an easy win. Though Australia made a good start, reaching 100 without loss in the 20th over, they struggled thereafter and were bowled out with 4.1 overs remaining. Slater, in his first one-day international, made 73 from 69 balls, with eight fours and a six, but the others could muster only two boundaries between them - the outfield had suffered from recent pop concerts. Three batsmen were run out, with direct hits from Rhodes accounting for Boon (via a remarkable throw from point while falling) and Steve Waugh.
Wessels and Cronje ensured victory with a stand of 140. McGrath, dismissed by his first ball on his Test debut, against New Zealand a month earlier, completed an unwanted double when he succumbed first ball on his one-day debut.
Man of the Match: W. J. Cronje. Attendance: 58,030.