South Africa has crushed Australia by six wickets in the first ODI at Perth on Sunday. Chasing an easy winning target of 153, South Africa cruised to the victory target in just 29.2 overs, giving them a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
On Sunday at Perth, Australia looked like a tired group of players who lack confidence and aggression. And it was a horror start of Summer cricket for Australia who as a team forget both the bowling and batting skills. Australia's top order crashed like a house of cards. The home side never recovered after slumping to 3-8 in the sixth over when captain Aaron Finch failed to review an lbw decision that went against him. At one time, Australia crashed to 6-66 when it was at 21st over, and were eventually bowled out for 152 in the 39th over in front of 24,342 fans at Perth Stadium.
The home side wouldn't have reached triple figures if not for wicketkeeper Alex Carey (33 off 71 balls) and tail-ender Nathan Coulter-Nile (34 off 31 balls). On Sunday, they were the only two players to make it past 16.
Australia have lost 17 of their past 19 ODIs, and are running out of time to get their act together for next year's World Cup in England. The Australian cricket is yet to come out of the shadow of the ball tampering controversy. Cricket Australia Chairman David Peever has resigned a couple of days back following a strong criticism on Australian cricket after the ball-tampering scandal. Sydney-based not-for-profit organization, The Ethics Centre, has unleashed scathing attack in its 145-page review on the issue. Interim chair Earl Eddings said Cricket Australia needed to "earn back the trust of the cricket community".
For South Africa, the opening partnership of wicket keeper de Kock (47) and Hendricks (44) paved a solid base. Then Markram (36) and du Plessis (10 not out) sealed the victory. Earlier, South African bowlers made a spectacular performance to crush the Australian batting. While Andile Phehlukwayo took three wickets, Dale Steyn, Lungi Ngidi and Imran Tahir scalped two wickets each.