Du Plessis record ton gives South Africa 2-0 lead

prv_9c0ba_1475421455Faf du Plessis became only the second, behind Tillakaratne Dilshan, to score a century in all three formats as captain after his 93-ball 111 helped South Africa trounce Australia by 142 runs in the second One-Day International at the New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Sunday (October 2). Chasing 362, Australia folded for 219 with Travis Head top-scoring with 51 and, in the bargain, conceded a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.

For South Africa, JP Duminy (82) and Rillee Rossouw (75) played perfect second fiddle to the South African captain as they decimated an inexperienced Australian bowling line-up.

South Africa got off to a solid start with Quinton de Kock (22) and Rossouw destroying the pace bowling debutant duo of Joe Mennie and Chris Tremain in the Powerplay. With conditions offering no help whatsoever to the bowlers, the openers took full advantage of the field restrictions and let loose, taking them for as many as 51 in the opening eight overs.

De Kock, after a blistering century in the previous ODI, fell first, trying to attack John Hastings. The wicket brought du Plessis to the crease, who survived an early scare before going after the Australian attack. Trying to steal a sharp single, du Plessis was hit on the thumb by a direct hit from Aaron Finch off his first ball and looked in apparent discomfort. Play was stopped for a brief while before he resumed but looked a touch shaken by the blow. However, he soon got into his groove and started laying a solid platform for a late onslaught with Rossouw. The duo stitched a 76-run stand to take the team close to the 150-run mark.

Rossouw, too, fell to Hastings in the 25th over. The left-hander pulled a shortish delivery straight to substitute fielder Daniel Worrall. At that stage, the scorecard read 146 for 2, and given the conditions, it was important for du Plessis to capitalise on his start and convert it into a big one.

With Duminy scoring at a brisk pace, the pressure was taken off du Plessis. The respite from the wicket didn’t last too long for Australia as the South African duo kept milking the bowling without much fuss. Du Plessis got to his century in the 40th over off 85 deliveries and brought up his third ODI ton against Australia.

Soon after the ton, the focus shifted to Duminy as the left-hander upped the ante with ease and looked on course for another century. However, an inside edge back onto the stumps in the 42nd over off Mitchell Marsh led to his downfall. The du Plessis-Duminy stand lasted 17.5 overs and yielded 150 runs.

Farhaan Behardien (13) and David Miller (26) failed to replicate the aggression of the preceding batsmen, but managed to lift the team total past 350. The outing turned out to be a forgettable one for Mennie as he broke Steve Smith’s record of most runs conceded on debut in an ODI for Australia after giving away 82, in comparison to the latter’s 78.

Australia’s chase ran out of steam even before it could get rolling. With both Kagiso Rabada and Dale Steyn bowling tight lines at some discomforting pace, the visitors found themselves struggling at 29 for 2 with Finch and Smith back in the hut.

George Bailey failed to bail the team out this time and was bowled by Wayne Parnell in the 11th over for 9. However, it was David Warner’s wicket that ensured an Australian defeat. The opener worked his way to a 56-ball 50 before pulling a nothing delivery from Duminy straight to Miller at short midwicket.

The lower order resisted for a brief while with Head (51) and Matthew Wade (33) scoring 69 for the sixth wicket. However, all they did was delay the inevitable as the hosts wrapped up the win in the 38th over.

Brief scores: South Africa 361/6 in 50 overs (Faf du Plessis 111, JP Duminy 82; John Hastings 3-57, Mitchell Marsh 2-68) beat Australia 219 in 37.4 overs (Travis Head 51, David Warner 50; Wayne Parnell 3-40) by 142 runs. (Courtesy Cricket Buzz.com)

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