Australia ended their seven game losing streak in ODI’s as they beat South Africa by 7 runs in the second one day international at Adelaide. The home side produced a strong bowling performance to defend a modest total of 232 on what appeared to be a good batting wicket, storming back after a chastening defeat five days ago in Perth.
South African skipper Faf du Plessis won the toss and sent Australia in at the Adelaide Oval. The hosts suffered an early jolt as local lad Travis Head was trapped LBW by Lungi Ngidi for 8 runs. Even worse, Head wasted the review despite the appeal looking good in real time.
The returning Shaun Marsh along with skipper Aaron Finch added 54 runs for the second wicket stand, before Kagiso Rabada provided a much needed breakthrough by getting rid of Marsh for 22.
Finch looked set for a big score, but lost his concentration and chopped on for 41, giving Dwaine Pretorius his first wicket of the game.
Chris Lynn then took Rabada to the cleaners, hitting a six and three fours off consecutive deliveries. The South African pacer however had the last laugh as Lynn attempted to smite another delivery, only to be caught behind by Quinton De Kock.
After Lynn’s departure, the Australian innings fell apart with the likes of Maxwell, Stonis, Cummins and Starc all falling cheaply.
However some handy runs from the last wicket pair of Adam Zampa and Josh Hazlewood helped Australia get to 231.
Rabada was South Africa’s best bowler as he finished with figures of 4/54, while Pretorius playing his first game of the tournament was tidy & economical, as he claimed 3/32. The Lions all rounder said at the interval that the visitors had conceded 10-15 too many, and his prediction came right as the visitors fell short by seven runs.
Chasing a target of 232, the Proteas lost Quinton De Kock early, with the wicket keeper flicking a Starc delivery straight to Adam Zampa at fine leg.
Aiden Markram, who looked good in his short stay at the crease and even smoked a 150 kmph Starc delivery into the stands, was run out while trying to go for a needless third.
Reeza Hendricks and Heinrich Klaasen followed soon after leaving South Africa in a bit of trouble at 68/4.
Faf Du Plessis and David Miller then repaired the innings by adding 74 runs, before Pat Cummins stuck by getting rid of the former for 47. At that time South Africa needed 90 off 20 overs, by no means a difficult task, but panic struck their ranks once their captain fell. It’s been a recurrent theme over the years and the fragility of their batting will be a source of concern for coach Ottis Gibson.
With the Proteas playing four bowlers, a lot fell on the shoulders of No.7 Pretorius. He ate up five overs and just about made it to double digits before falling to Hazlewood.
When David Miller fell LBW to Stoinis, South Africa’s final hope went out and despite some lusty hits from Lungi Ngidi and Imran Tahir at the end, fell seven runs short. They ended up at 224/9.
Like he was in Perth, Stoinis was again Australia’s best bowler. However the Man of the Match award went to Finch for his excellent captaincy and his runs with the bat.
The series is now tied at 1-1, with the decider to be played in the Tasmanian capital city of Hobart on Sunday.