It was all set for a Protea Party at Perth before the Proteas choked in the chase of 301 in the first ODI between Australia and South Africa at the WACA, Perth. Aussie quick Nathan Coulter-Nile’s career best figures of 4-48 backed the batting of George Bailey (70 off 75) and overshadowed AB de Villiers’ 80 and David Miller’s 65 that earned the hosts a 32 run victory over the South Africa. With this, Australia go 1-0 up in the five match ODI series. But Aussies were hit by a huge set-back as their regular skipper Michael Clarke injured his hamstring once again and is expected to be out of the entire series.

Chasing 301 in 50 overs, Aussie pacer Mitchell Johnson struck early as he sent openers Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla by the fifth over of the innings with some fiery pace bowling. Faf du Plessis and Farhaan Behardien tried to bring the innings under control before Aaron Finch hung on to a catch from the bats of Behardien off Nathan Coulter-Nile. Soon, du Plessis fell leaving skipper AB de Villiers and David Miller to face the daunting task. The duo repaired the innings and began the counter-attack as they threatened to take the game away from the hosts. Both reached their respective fifties before Miller was dismissed by Coulter-Nile courtesy a needless shot with respect to that situation. Two balls later, Coulter-Nile struck, this time he removed Ryan McLaren for zero and in the next over Josh Hazzlewood got rid of Vernon Philander leaving de Villiers to win the match for the visitors along with the tailenders. But when de Villiers was run-out for 80 following a mix up with Dale Steyn, it was all but over for South Africa. Steyn too failed to make any impact as he fell to Coulter-Nile before Maxwell cleaned up the innings for 268 by dismissing Imran Tahir for 22.

Put into bat, Australia were off to a flier as the openers David Warner and Aaron Finch cruised to a 94 run partnership off 86 balls before both were dismissed by Vernon Philander in a space of three balls. Finch scored 35 while Warner settled for 46. The wickets tumbled in the middle overs before Bailey stiched on to a crucial 92 run partnership with Matthew Wade who made 35. Glenn Maxwell’s cameo of 29 off 19 propelled the home team to 300-8 in 50 overs. Philander took 4-45 in his ten overs and he was the pick of South African bowlers.

The second ODI will be played on Sunday (16 November) at Perth

Brief Scores: Australia 300-8 (Bailey 70, Warner 46, Philander 4-48) beat South Africa 268 (de Villiers 80, Miller 65, Coulter-Nile 4-48) by 32 runs.

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