Recent Match Report – Australia vs South Africa 2nd ODI 2023/24


Recent Match Report – Australia vs South Africa 2nd ODI 2023/24

Australia 392 for 8 (Labuschagne 124, Warner 106, Head 64, Inglis 50, Shamsi 4-61) beat South Africa 269 (Klaasen 49, Miller 49, Zampa 4-48) by 123 runs

Australia scored their third highest total in ODIs, and second-highest against South Africa, and though their biggest – 434 – was successfully chased 16 years ago, there was no repeat as South Africa slipped to a fifth successive defeat. After being blanked in the T20I series, South Africa now face three consecutive must-win games if they are to win the series.
David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne put on 151 for the second wicket and scored their 20th and second ODI centuries respectively; both were significant for different reasons. Warner equalled Sachin Tendulkar’s ODI century record against South Africa – 5 – and went past Tendulkar to sit on top of the pile for most centuries as an opener across the three international formats: 46.

Labuschagne’s only three-figure scores in the format have come against his former home country, South Africa. His first, in March 2020, came in Potchefstroom, the international ground closest to his hometown of Klerksdorp. Now, his second, has come in Bloemfontein, the second-closest ground, where he took a picture with Shaun Pollock as a four-year-old. Labuschagne’s runs have also given Australia’s selectors a headache they did not expect to have. They left him out of Australia’s World Cup squad but with the form he is in, may have to rethink their decision ahead of the September 28 deadline.

South Africa have more serious concerns. Their first-choice seamers looked both hapless and careless and Anrich Nortje left the field with lower-back spasms after bowling only five overs, though he returned to bat. The spinners had a decent outing – Aiden Markram and Tabraiz Shamsi conceded less than seven an over between them while completing their respective quotas – but the batters were unable to keep pace with a demanding chase.
Nathan Ellis was outstanding in maintaining his line on or just outside off stump and finished with 2 for 32 at an economy rate of exactly four an over, while Adam Zampa did the bulk of the damage, bagging 4 for 48. No South African scored a half-century but there were four scores in the 40s and no partnership was bigger than the opening stand of 81.
Australia’s intent was obvious from the get-go. They took advantage of the width offered by Marco Jansen and Kagiso Rabada upfront and brought up 50 inside seven overs. Nortje threatened to pull things back with an opening over that cost three but then completely lost his lengths and conceded 36 runs off his next two overs. Australia racked up their third-highest powerplay in the format, of 102 without loss, with Travis Head the aggressor of the early exchanges. He brought up fifty off 26 balls when he sent Nortje over midwicket for his second six.

Tabraiz Shamsi had Head caught by David Miller, running back from mid-on, and then removed Mitchell Marsh first ball on review. The Australian captain missed a reverse-sweep first ball and ball-tracking showed the ball crashing into middle stump.

Warner reached 50 off 52 balls and then took only 33 more to get to hundred. It was his second-fastest century in the format and included all his usual back-foot power hits as well as a down-on-one-knee loft over long-on off a Phehlukwayo slower ball, and a massive launch over long-on when Jansen took pace off. The century came with a pull off a Shamsi long-hop and was followed by a signature leaping celebration.

At the other end, Labuschagne had one nervy moment when he bottom-edged Andile Phehlukwayo, but de Kock, who was standing up to the stumps, could not hold on to a difficult chance. Labuschagne was severe against spin and showed off exquisite footwork. He took 66 runs off the 45 balls bowled he faced from Markram and Shamsi. He got to 50 off 54 balls and then, like Warner, accelerated. His next 50 runs took just 26 balls. Together, Warner and Labuschagne put on the second highest third-wicket partnership for South Africa against Australia, and it seemed that would not be separated.

It took a delivery from Phehlukwayo – who has not played an ODI since October last year and was only drafted into the squads on the morning of the game – that stayed low to beat Warner’s pull and bowl him. Warner left the field with a smile and to a standing ovation.

With 17.2 overs still to be bowled, Josh Inglis, in his 5th ODI, had a licence to play freely and raced to a 36-ball fifty. He holed out off the very next ball, which allowed South Africa to mount a small fightback. Starting with the Inglis dismissal, they took five wickets in 27 balls, including Labuschagne’s, and gave away only 26 runs, which ensured that Australia were kept to under 400. Shamsi finished with the second four-fer of his ODI career.

South Africa’s chase started brightly as Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma put on 81 in the first nine overs, but their time together was not without chances. De Kock was on 24 when a back-of-a-length Ellis delivery hit the stumps but the bail did not fall off, and had yet to add to his score when he miscued Sean Abbott into vacant space. His luck ran out when he drove Ellis down the pitch and the bowler pulled off a stunning reaction catch to dent South Africa in the last over of the powerplay.

Bavuma showed good intent but when Zampa was brought on and runs dried up, tried to lap him, missed and was out lbw. In the next over, Aiden Markram hit Zampa down the ground to Abbott and three overs after that Rassie van der Dussen dragged Aaron Hardie onto his stumps. At 119 for 4 in the 18th over, South Africa had already lost too many wickets to mount a serious challenge.

Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller looked threatening and shared 58 runs for the fifth wicket but when Klaasen went back to hit a Zampa legbreak and was bowled, the writing was on the wall. Miller was left to marshal what looked a longer-than-usual tail. He was beaten for pace by Ellis and hit on the pad and Australia reviewed successfully. South Africa lost 5 for 28 to crash to their second-biggest defeat to Australia.

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