Quinton De Kock smashed 178 runs off 113 balls to help South Africa beat Australia by six wickets in the first of five ODIs.
The South African, who chalked up 16 fours and 11 sixes to set up the 13-over victory, was a nightmare for Australia’s understrength bowling line-up. The in-form opener’s career-best century was South Africa’s second-highest individual score in one-day internationals.
The Australians, batting first, posted 294 for the loss of nine wickets. at the end of the first innings. Adile Phehlukwayo, in just his second ODI appearance, was South Africa’s best bowler taking 4-44 in 10 overs, including the wicket of captain Steve Smith who squandered Australia’s single review by questioning his own straight-forward LBW. Veteran Dale Steyn also left his mark on the match, taking 2-65 in his first match in over a year.
De Kock ensured that the Aussies felt the loss of their most experienced bowlers, Mitchell Starc, James Faulkner and Josh Hazlewood. Two of Australia’s senior bowlers, John Hastings and Mitchell Marsh didn’t claim a wicket while conceding more than seven and eight runs per over. One positive for coach Darren Lehmann as his team prepares for the second encounter will be Scott Boland’s career-best performance of 3-57, including the wicket of De Kock. – Ben Owusu
Photo of Quinton De Kock sending the ball down the ground for a boundary from Cricket South Africa’s Twitter feed.