Proteas win second ODI against Australia

Morné Morkel and Proteas captain AB de Villiers. (Reuters)

Morné Morkel and Proteas captain AB de Villiers. (Reuters)

South Africa paceman Morné Morkel thrived on a fast WACA pitch to capture five wickets but the tourists made hard work of a three-wicket victory over Australia in the second one-day international in Perth on Sunday.

Morkel’s return of 5-21 was his best in one-day cricket and helped skittle Australia for a paltry 154 runs from only 41.4 overs on a day of brilliant sunshine in Perth.

Although losing both openers cheaply in reply and stumbling to 153-7, captain AB De Villiers (48) and David Miller (22 not out) ensured a regulation victory with over 22 overs to spare and levelling the five-match series 1-1.

Australia’s innings began disastrously, with Morkel having the dangerous David Warner caught behind for a duck before the same bowler caught Aaron Finch for eight at mid-on off the bowling of Dale Steyn (3-31).

Shane Watson (11) and Steven Smith (10) also went cheaply before George Bailey (25) and Australia’s top scorer Mitchell Marsh (67) steadied the innings with a 58-run partnership.

Vernon Philander broke the stand, however, with Faf Du Plessis taking a fine catch low at mid-on to remove Bailey, before Morkel had wicketkeeper Matthew Wade caught behind for 19 and Glenn Maxwell bowled for a duck in the same over.

Early strike
Morkel captured his fifth wicket when Mitchell Johnson edged behind for three, leaving the hosts reeling at 129-8 and their hopes of building a solid total in tatters.

Australia quicks Josh Hazlewood and Johnson struck early to remove openers Quinton de Kock (4) and Hashim Amla (10) before Rilee Rossouw contributed a valuable 30 before swiping a nick behind off part-time spinner Maxwell.

Du Plessis and De Villiers drove South Africa to a comfortable 113-3 before Hazlewood struck to remove Du Plessis for 19 and Farhaan Behardien for a duck in successive balls.

David Miller survived the hat-trick ball and an onslaught of short-pitched bowling from left-armer Johnson, but Hazlewood struck again to remove De Villiers and Vernon Philander for a duck for another chance at a hat-trick.

Steyn defied Hazlewood, however, and slogged his third delivery over the bowler to the fence to bring up the winning runs.

Hazlewood was the pick of the Australian bowlers with 5-31. The third ODI will be played in Canberra on Wednesday.–Reuters

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