Paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile took four wickets to fire Australia to a 32-run victory over South Africa in the first one-day international in Perth on Friday. Australia captain Michael Clarke was ruled out midway through the match after re-aggravating his hamstring but stand-in skipper George Bailey scored a telling 70 to help drive the hosts to 300 for eight wickets after a mid-innings collapse.
Mitchell Johnson gave Australia the perfect start in defending the total, the fast bowler removing openers Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock with just 18 runs on the board. South Africa captain AB de Villiers and middle-order batsman David Miller (65) combined for 126 runs to drive the tourists past 200, but Coulter-Nile broke the partnership when Miller miscued to Mitchell Marsh at mid-on with 14 overs left. De Villiers smashed 80 off 76 balls but was run out by some sharp fielding by Steven Smith, who came in for Clarke and threw down the stumps at the non-striker’s end.
Brief scores: Australia 300/8 (G Bailey 70, D Warner 46; V Philander 4/45) beat SA 268/10 De Villiers 80, D Miller 65; N Coulter-Mile 4/48, M Johnson 2/38) by 32 runs
Injury worries for Aus
Australia captain Michael Clarke will likely not take part in the second ODI versus South Africa on Sunday. “Clarke is currently being assessed and will have a scan tomorrow. George Bailey will step up as captain,” CA said on its Twitter feed.
Depending on the severity of the hamstring injury, Clarke may also be in doubt for the start of the four-Test series against India, which kicks off with the first match in Brisbane on Dec. 4. Australia wicketkeeper Brad Haddin too is in a race to be fit for the Test series. Haddin hurt his shoulder during Australia’s 2-0 Test series loss to Pakistan.
Mitch, cricketer of the year
Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson has matched compatriot Ricky Ponting’s feat of winning the International Cricket Council’s Cricketer of the Year award twice, the governing body said on Friday. The 33-year-old Johnson won the Sir Garfield Sobers trophy for the second time after winning the award in 2009 and was also named the ICC Test cricketer of the Year. Former Australia captain Ponting won the title in 2006 and 2007.
Left-arm paceman Johnson fired Australia to a 5-0 Ashes sweep of England and a 2-1 series win in South Africa between August 2013 and September 2014, taking 59 test wickets at an average of 15.23.
“Aggressive fast bowlers are something you’d have seen back in the day with the likes of (Dennis) Lillee and (Jeff) Thomson,” Johnson said in an ICC statement.
“For me, it’s nice to be able to contribute to the team and do the job that I’ve always thought I’ve been able to do. This is something that I’ll be able to look back on in time when my career is over and be exceptionally proud of.”
AB de Villiers won the ICC one-day international cricketer of the year while England’s Gary Balance was named the ICC emerging cricketer of the year.