A Faf du Plessis-inspired Proteas allowed the side to go 2-0 up in the series, after beating Australia by 142 runs at the Wanderers.
It was another clinical display from the Proteas with both bat and ball, and it completes a spell of South African sporting dominance over Australia, following the ODI victory on Friday, Kevin Anderson’s victory over Nick Kyrgios in the Chengdu Open on Thursday, and the Springboks’ win over the Wallabies on Saturday.
The Proteas have comfortably shown that they can compete without injured skipper AB de Villiers, and indeed Hashim Amla, who was curiously left out of the side for this match despite being fit. Quinton de Kock was the star in Centurion on Friday in record-breaking fashion, while stand-in skipper Faf du Plessis’ 111 took the plaudits in Johannesburg, with JP Duminy and Rilee Rossouw playing significant supporting roles.
Steve Smith won the toss and put SA into bat, but the tourists showed once again what it means when you’re without five of your first-choice fast bowlers. Chris Tremain and Joe Mennie were handed debuts and the new ball too, which Rossouw and De Kock saw off with ease in the Powerplay overs.
Rossouw backed up his fifty in the first match with an excellent 75, making it very difficult to leave him out of the side from here. He scored the majority of the 70-run opening stand, with De Kock departing for 22. A healthy stand then followed between Rossouw and Du Plessis, before John Hastings, leading the line for the Aussies, saw off Rossouw.
That was when the fireworks started, with JP Duminy looking in excellent touch for his 82. He put on a 150-run stand with Du Plessis, and the fact that the first six was only hit in the 40th over just went to show the quality of the groundstrokes that were at play as they hovered around the seven-an-over mark. Duminy’s 82 came off 58 deliveries, after Du Plessis notched up his sixth ODI century, and third against Australia, off just 84 balls.
A score that threatened to reach 400 was restricted to 361-6 due to regular wickets falling towards the end, with 97 runs scored off the final 10 overs, David Miller getting them over 350 with 26 off 17.
Aaron Finch and David Warner had the difficult task of getting their side off to a good start, but the pitch was starting to play up, and Kagiso Rabada and Dale Steyn were in the mood to cash in. Finch was the first to go, skying one off Rabada’s bowling for one.
Just like the first match, Australia failed to string any decent partnerships together. De Kock took a fine catch to remove Smith for 14, before a scratchy George Bailey, squared up on numerous occasions, was eventually clean bowled by Wayne Parnell. Mitchell Marsh also fell victim to Parnell for 19. It was simply not good enough from Australia’s senior batsmen, who they rely so much on given their depleted bowling attack.
The best partnership was produced by Travis Head and Matthew Wade, who manufactured 69. Head brought up his maiden ODI half-century, but lost his concentration soon after, as Rabada had his second, Head departing lbw for 51.
Wade (33) and John Hastings (23), the tourists’ only hope of getting anything out of the match, both holed out, before Andile Phehlukwayo cleaned up the tail with the last two wickets to skittle their opponents for 219.
It was another dominant all-round display from the Proteas, who can close out the series in the third ODI in Durban on Wednesday.
– See more at: http://www.sacricketmag.com/proteas-destroy-aus-again/#sthash.nCbc6U39.dpuf
Photo: LeeWarren/Gallo Images