South Africa almost slipped out the second ODI against Australia at Perth from their hands when they almost choked towards the end of the chase of 155 in 50 overs before cruising home with three wickets in hand and more than 22 overs to spare. This match was all about two pacers from either sides who took fifers and applied the pressure on the opposition batsmen. With this, the five match ODI series is levelled at 1-1 with three matches still to be played.
Chasing an easy target of 155, Aussie pacers struck early by sending back both the openers by the seventh over of the innings. Rilee Rossouw joined Faf du Plessis in the middle and started the counter attack as he took on the Aussie bowlers. He scored 6 fours in his 25 ball 30 before offering a catch to Steve Smith at the first slip off Glenn Maxwell. Skipper AB de Villiers joined du Plessis and continued from where Rossouw left. He scored a 41 ball 48 and gifted his wicket to Hazlewood who took a career best fifer. South Africa triggered to a mini collapse before David Miller and Mitchell Johnson took them home. De Villiers scored 48 for South Africa while Hazlewood picked up 5-31 and was the pick of the Aussie bowlers.
Earlier in the day, it was all about Morne Morkel who ran riot in the Aussie batting order on a seamer friendly conditions at the WACA. He straight away put the Aussie batsmen on the backfoot by dismissing opener David Warner in the fifth ball of the innings courtesy, a sensational catch from keeper de Kock. Soon his partner Aaron Finch followed Warner to the pavilion when he was dismissed by Dale Steyn caught by Morkel at mid-on. Wickets kept on tumbling as Watson, Smith and Bailey followed soon after due to some poor shot selection. Australia badly needed someone to support Mitchell Marsh who kept on fighting at the other end.
He put on a 33 run partnership with Matthew Wade before Morkel returned and had the Aussie Gloveman caught behind off his glove. Two balls later, “The Big Show” Glenn Maxwell dragged in a delivery onto the stumps and left Marsh reeling at the other end. It was just a formality for the Proteas bowlers as they cleaned up the tail quickly and bundled out the Aussies for a below par 154 in 41.4 overs. Mitchell Marsh was the last man to get out after scoring a well-made 88 ball 67. Morkel was the pick of the bowlers with a career best 5-21 in 8 overs.
Morne Morkel was declared the Man of the Match. The third ODI will be held at the Manuka Oval, Canberra on Wednesday.
Brief Scores: South Africa 157 for 7 in 27.1 overs (de Villiers 48, Rossouw 30, Hazlewood 5-31) beat Australia 154 in 41.4 overs (Marsh 67, Morkel 5-21, Steyn 3-35) by 3 wickets.