Paceman Kagiso Rabada led a brilliant South Africa bowling display that lifted the Proteas to a 47-run win over Australia in the triangular one-day international series in Guyana on Tuesday.
After winning the toss and making 189 for nine off their 50 overs, South Africa’s bowlers had a field day on a low, slow turning pitch at Providence Stadium in Georgetown as Australia crumbled to be all out for 142 off 34.2 overs.
Australia made heavy weather of the run-chase right from the start, with the quick departure of dynamic opener David Warner (1), beaten by the pace of Wayne Parnell and trapped leg before.
South Africa were rewarded for playing three specialist spinners but it was 21-year-old Rabada who led the way, using his genuine pace to claim 3 for 13 from seven overs.
He was backed by fellow quick Parnell (2/23), while spinners Imran Tahir (2/39), Aaron Phangiso (2/26) and debutant Tabraiz Shamsi (1/36) collected the other five wickets.
Middle-order batsman Farhaan Behardien top-scored for South Africa with 62 off 82 balls, a man of the match performance, and captain AB de Villiers said his display had given the side momentum.
“I thought we had a fantastic game today,” de Villiers said in an interview.
“That innings that Behardien played got a bit of momentum on our side and then we started (bowling) really well with the two seamers and then the spinners did a fantastic job.”
The only sour note for South Africa was the news Rilee Rossouw incurred a suspected dislocated shoulder when he landed on the boundary rope diving to prevent a four.
Opening batsman Aaron Finch was the only Australian to offer significant resistance, compiling 72 off 103 balls before being caught at extra cover off Phangiso, the ninth wicket to fall.
Paceman Josh Hazlewood was the pick of the Australian bowlers with 2/20.
Australian captain Steve Smith lamented his team’s inability to adapt to the conditions.
“We’ve got to adapt better on wickets like this that are a bit slower and take a bit of spin,” he said.
The result leaves the series delicately balanced with all three teams – South Africa, Australia and West Indies – on one win and one loss at the end of the Georgetown segment of the tournament, which now moves to the Caribbean island of St Kitts for the next three matches.
South Africa and Australia have five points, after each picking up a bonus point, while West Indies have four.