First ODI

South Africa v Australia, 2008-09

Neil Manthorp

At Durban, April 3, 2009 (day/night). Australia won by 141 runs. Toss: Australia. One-day international debut: B. Laughlin.

The real Mike Hussey finally made an appearance, having been missing for most of the summer against South Africa. His unbeaten 83 from 79 balls built handily on Haddin's punchy fifty, and it was typical of Hussey, and the effect he has on an innings when in top form, that Australia suddenly had a very good score without ever appearing to accelerate, let alone hit top gear. Ntini was the only bowler to be really clobbered, when Hussey and Hauritz collected 18 from the final over. Having been dropped from the limited-overs team at the start of the season, Ntini had forced his way back only to be saddled with the responsibility of bowling at the death, something he had never succeeded with at any stage of his career. It mattered not: even Smith's half-century could not prevent his team feeling shamed by their ineptitude in reply, although Johnson and the rest of the attack had a very good evening. Off-spinner Hauritz finished with four wickets, but admitted afterwards that slow bowling can often be rewarding when you are facing a struggling team as their target climbs to seven an over.

Man of the Match: M. E. K. Hussey.

© John Wisden & Co.