Aussies hammer Proteas
Centurion - Australia swept to victory by 93 runs in the first one-day international against South Africa at SuperSport Park on Wednesday.
Facing a target of 223 (according to the Duckworth/Lewis method), after the match was reduced to 29 overs a side, the Proteas put up a dismal performance in reply to Australia's 183/4.
Graeme Smith made another early exit and the meagre crowd, who patiently sat out the rain delay, booed him off the field.
Smith (4) played across his line and was adjudged lbw off Doug Bollinger in the first over. He went across to speak to his captain at the other end, but Hashim Amla declined the chance to appeal.
The same crowd cheered the return of Jacques Kallis and, together with Amla, the pair added 36 valuable runs.
Pat Cummins, the 18-year-old fast bowler, might have been wondering about life in the fast lane when his first ball in 50-over cricket was hit for six and his first over went for 10.
Clarke's gamble paid off though as Cummins took two wickets in his second over.
Kallis (15) got a thick inside edge onto his stumps while JP Duminy (4) was caught at second slip by Clarke.
Not to be outdone, the other Australian ODI debutant, Mitchell Marsh, grabbed the big wicket of Amla in his first over, when Brad Haddin dived in front of first slip to take a superb one-handed catch.
Mitchell Johnson took 3/20 and Cummins finished with 3/28.
Opening batsman for Australia, Ricky Ponting, scored 63 in his rain-interrupted innings. Former captain Ponting and new skipper Michael Clarke came out all guns blazing when they resumed their innings at 96/1.
Clarke (44) was just finding his stride when he was run out, by Johan Botha, for backing up too far to Ponting.
His dismissal broke their 102-run second-wicket stand which came off 111 balls and included 14 fours and two sixes. Dale Steyn made the first breakthrough when David Warner (20) got an inside edge onto his leg stump.
Steyn's opening spell was expensive but Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Jacques Kallis and Morne Morkel pinned the batsmen back and the Aussies struggled to score runs for a while.
Ponting was lucky to escape an inside edge which went just wide of wicketkeeper Mark Boucher and also survived several appeals. Amla chose not to use the Decision Review System (DRS) for an lbw and a caught-behind appeal.
Under pressure to score quickly, Brad Haddin (9) was caught going for the big one while Michael Hussey knocked off an unbeaten 30 runs off 21 balls.
Confident ODI debutant Mitchell Marsh hit one four in his eight not out.
Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla, (captain), Jacques Kallis, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, David Miller, Mark Boucher (wk), Johan Botha, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Lonwabo TsotsobeAustralia:
David Warner, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke (captain), Mike Hussey, Steve Smith, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Marsh, Mitchell Johnson, Xavier Doherty, Doug Bollinger, Pat Cummins