Pad up with ODI cricket tips as a suddenly under-pressure Australia strive to keep their series against South Africa alive in game two.
22:00 (AEDT),Wed 4th Mar @ Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein
History: Played 101: South Africa 49 V Australia 48 (3 Ties, 1 No Result)
Last meeting: February 29, 2020: South Africa d Australia by 74 runs at Boland Park
Final Thoughts: Australia went into their ODI series in the Republic as overwhelming favourites after dismantling South Africa in the T20I rubber.
The hosts were twice dismissed for under 100 runs (either side of a gutsy game two win) as Australia’s dominant summer rolled on.
But South Africa threw the formguide out the window with a 74-run thrashing of their archrivals in the ODI opener.
After a poor start, the Proteas powered to 7/291 on the back of Heinrich Klaasen’s brilliant 123 not out of 114 balls. Kyle Verreynne (48 off 64) and David Miller (64 off 70) played fine support roles. Pat Cummins (3/45) was the clear standout in the Australian attack.
An 84-run partnership between Steve Smith (76 off 94) and Marnus Labuschagne (41 off 51) had Australia’s chase in good stead. But the middle- and lower-order failed miserably as the tourists crumbled to 217 all out in the 46th over.
Lungi Ngidi (3/30) and Tabraiz Shamsi (2/45) were superb with the ball for South Africa.
Australia may drop D’Arcy Short for Ashton Agar after the game one experiment fell flat. South Africa should stick with a winning combination.
South Africa have dominated ODI competition between the archrivals in recent years. Australia have won just one of their last 10 one-dayers against the Proteas.
South Africa swept the last home series 5-0 in 2016 and claimed a 2-1 triumph in Australia in late-2018. They also snatched a shock 10-run win in Manchester in July – the highlight of a dismal World Cup campaign.
Despite the game one rout, Australia are hot $1.43 favourites to square up. Better batting down the order is key, with the spotlight on Mitch Marsh and Alex Carey.
Meanwhile, after falling for 25 in the series opener, David Warner should be primed to lay a more solid platform for the visitors.