AB de Villiers © Getty Images
AB de Villiers played a captain’s knock of 80 but it was in vain © Getty Images (File photo)

By Sameer Jha

Nov 14, 2014

Australia registered a 32-run victory against South Africa in the first One-Day International at Perth on Friday. South Africa started their chase on a stuttering note as both Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla departed early to Mitchell Johnson. The Australian pacer made full use of the Perth conditions to effect the dismissals. After their dismissal, Farhaan Behardien and Faf du Plessis put up some resistance, and were looking to lead the Proteas recovery. However, Behardien was dismissed by Nathan Coulter-Nile when he tried to hit a short ball.

Du Plessis, who has been South Africa’s go-to man in times of trouble, played a fine knock of 31 before falling to Shane Watson leaving the visitors reeling at 76 for four.  Skipper AB De Villiers and David Miller played attacking shots despite the match situation, and had some success initially. Their 126-run partnership was filled with confident strokeplay, which brought South Africa back into the game.

However, Nathan Coulter-nile picked up two wickets in the 37th over to shift the momentum back in the favour of the hosts. Hazlewood snared Philander in the next over and things had started to look bleak for the South African side. De Villiers, who was the only hope for South Africa, too lost his wicket after being run out due to a misunderstanding with Steyn. The final wicket partnership was a fighting one as Morne Morkel and Imran Tahir displayed resistance to form a 46 run partnership.

Earlier, Australia had posted 300 in their 50 overs. David Warner and Aaron Finch had given the hosts a great sort, but their dismissals resulted in a collapse that bought South Africa right back into the game. George Bailey, Matthew Wade and Glenn Maxwell provided some fireworks at the end of the innings to help them post an imposing target.

Brief scores:

Australia  301 for 8 in 50 overs (David Warner 46, George Bailey 70; Vernon Philander 4 for 45) beat South Africa (AB de Villiers 80, Faf du Plessis 65; Nathan Coulter-Nile 4 for 48) by 32 runs

Man of the match: Nathan Coulter-Nile

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(Sameer Jha is a reporter at CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter at @SameerJha_)