The early warning
Both David Warner and Aaron Finch breached the boundary in the first two overs but they made their intent clear in the third. Dale Steyn dropped one short, Warner shifted back onto his toes with the balance of a ballerina but then unleashed a butcher's blow. Warner sent the ball into the crowd at deep midwicket, a sign of what was to come. Australia would bludgeon nine more sixes on their way to the highest total at Kingsmead.
The flying captain
It was going to take fatigue or something special to get wickets and after South Africa removed Australia's top three through the former method, Faf du Plessis pulled off one of the latter to get them a fourth scalp. George Bailey had just hit Andile Phehlukwayo for six and tried to slap him through the covers where du Plessis was stationed. South Africa's stand-in captain flung himself to his left and went after the ball with both hands. The ball stuck and Bailey was sent on his way but Australia were still on track for a 350-plus score.
Hashim Amla responded to being left out at the Wanderers by blasting his way to 45 off the first 29 balls he faced and looked good to go on to a big score when John Hastings stopped him. Amla moved across his crease to try and flick a Hastings delivery into the leg side but missed and was struck on the back pad. Umpire Adrian Holdstock raised the finger and Amla considered a review but luckily did not opt for it. Replays showed umpire's call on impact and that the ball would have gone on to hit the stumps and Amla accepted his fate.
The other flying captain
Australia needed something similar to du Plessis' effort to break South Africa's second-wicket partnership between du Plessis and Quinton de Kock. Steven Smith almost had the chance to pull it off. Du Plessis was drawn forward by Adam Zampa and lured into a drive, which he could not keep on the ground. The ball went to the left of Smith at cover, he lunged at it in an almost mirror-image of what du Plessis had done earlier except that he could not hold on. Smith got fingertips to it but may have needed a little more height to grab it properly and du Plessis, on 31, survived. Although not for long.
The wrong shot
Rilee Rossouw admitted he should not have brought out the reverse-sweep as early as he did in the first ODI but insisted it remained "his shot" and he would use it in future. Unfortunately, it let him down again. Rossouw picked the fourth ball he faced from Zampa, a quicker one, and missed his attempt. He was struck on the pads and given out and will rue not making use of the opportunity he was given at Farhaan Behardien's expense.
The Lucky escape
Phehlukwayo's middle name is Lucky and he lived up to it when he survived despite edging to the wicketkeeper at a crucial time in the South Africa innings. Phelukwayo wafted at his first ball, from Chris Tremain, which was in the channel outside off, and seemed to get a thin edge. Matthew Wade went up immediately but umpire Holdstock was not convinced. Australia did not have a review in hand, having spent theirs on asking if David Miller was caught behind earlier on. Replays showed that if they had been able to call on DRS, it would have gone in their favour, with a sizeable spike on Snicko showing bat had made contact with ball. As the last recognised batsman in the XI, Phehlukwayo's presence was important to South Africa's chase and the let off could not have been luckier for him.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent