Sport / Cricket

Heinz Schenk
2 minute read
4 Nov 2018
11:37 am

Rampant Proteas thump embattled Aussies

Heinz Schenk

A fearsome four-man attack bares its teeth to get Faf du Plessis and his troops off to an ideal start in the ODI series.

Dale Steyn of South Africa fist bumps Lungi Ngidi of South Africa during game one of the One Day International series between Australia and South Africa at Perth Stadium on November 04, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by James Worsfold/Getty Images)

If the Proteas needed to prove why they want four strike bowlers in their World Cup attack next year, Sunday’s emphatic six-wicket victory in the first ODI against Australia in Perth was a clinching argument.

The quartet of Dale Steyn, Lungi Ngidi, Kagiso Rabada and Imran Tahir were simply superb as they ruthlessly dismantled a vulnerable batting order for just 152 on a fast, bouncy surface at the new Perth Stadium.

Winning the toss and fielding first, the irrepressible Steyn (2/18) showed his value immediately by snatching the first two wickets.

Relishing bowling to left-handers, the 35-year-old bowled a lovely, full-length delivery to opener Travis Head that had him stuck on the crease before delivering a wider one to D’Arcy Short that was edged to second slip, where captain Faf du Plessis held a cracking catch.

Ngidi supported him well in trapping Aussie skipper Aaron Finch in front with a ball that nipped in though replays suggested the burly opener should’ve reviewed.

The value of the frontline bowlers’ stranglehold meant that Andile Phehlukwayo could profit the most.

The steady all-rounder didn’t necessarily quite hit his straps, but took advantage of the Aussie batters trying to target him.

All three his wickets came from rash shots, aided by some magnificent catching from Quinton de Kock and Heinrich Klaasen.

Phehlukwayo finished with 3/33.

Some lower order resistance from Nathan Coulter-Nile (34) meant the Proteas had something bigger to chase than initially anticipated before David Miller’s superb direct hit run out of Pat Cummins and the wiles of Tahir (2/39) finished off a fine display in the field.

Given their recent struggles with the bat, the Proteas’ reply was approached well.

Quinton de Kock was attacking but measured in striking seven fours from his 40-ball 47 before a rush of blood saw him caught at mid-off.

However, by that time he had combined for an opening stand of 94 with Reeza Hendricks (44) to all but assure victory.

Aiden Markam stroked six boundaries in his 36 and would’ve been left frustrated by getting out with the end in sight when he chopped Marcus Stoinis’ (3/16) seamer onto his stumps.

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