Morne Morkel bagged his second five-wicket haul in ODIs © Getty Images
Morne Morkel bagged his second five-wicket haul in ODIs © Getty Images

By Devarchit Varma

Nov 16, 2014

Morne Morkel claimed five wickets to help South Africa bowl out Australia for a paltry total of 154 in 41.1 0vers, their second One-Day International (ODI) at the Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA) Ground in Perth on Sunday.

Mitchell Marsh‘s half-century was the only bright spot for the hosts as they suffered a batting collapse against a disciplined South African pace attack led by Morkel. Marsh smashed three fours and two sixes to score a fighting 67 off 88 balls.

Morkel registered his only second five-wicket haul in ODIs, and also his best bowling figures in the format. He looked in perfect rhythm Morkel returned with the figures of 8-0-21-5. South Africa’s star speedster Dale Steyn too had success, as he snared the wickets of Marsh, Aaron Finch and Nathan Coulter-Nile.

Australian skipper George Bailey’s decision to bat after winning the toss went terribly wrong as his side failed to produce an inspired batting show which they did in the first ODI at the same venue two days ago. Australia lost a wicket in the first over itself, and South Africa did not let go of the opportunity.

Morkel was relentless, as he removed David Warner in the fifth ball of the opening over and then returned in the middle overs to cause further damage to the home side. Australia, after losing Warner early, suffered a batting collapse as they could not find any top-order batsman who could rescue them.

Aaron Finch was dismissed in the fifth over as he tried to provide Australia some much-needed momentum, but the fall of Shane Watson off Farhan Behardien’s rookie off-spin in the 11th over was something that would have hurt the hosts the most. Watson was dismissed for 11 off 27 balls, and after his wicket Australia were left reeling at 27 for three.

There was more trouble in store for the Australians as Steven Smith, playing in place of Michael Clarke, fell after scoring 10 as Morkel bagged his second wicket. Smith’s dismissal put Australia in a precarious position of 34 for four after 11.3 overs.

Stand-in captain Bailey and Mitchell Marsh did provide some resistance with their fifth-wicket stand of 58 runs. They were able to stem the fall of wickets but the lack of contribution by the top-order batsmen meant their effort did not have much effect on the game and on the proceedings.

In the 26th over Bailey was removed by Vernon Philander, and Matthew Wade too joined the list of the flops when he failed to convert a start into a big score and was dismissed for 19 off 29 balls, caught by Quinton de Kock off Morkel.

Australia would have pinned high hopes on the explosive batsman Glenn Maxwell when he came out to bat in the 35th over at No 8, but Morkel got the right-handed batsman out for a duck on the first ball. Maxwell played one onto his wickets as South Africa erupted in joy. Mitchell Johnson was Morkel’s fifth wicket, as the left-handed batsman was caught by de Kock on the first ball of the 37th over.

Towards the end, running out of partners at a very fast rate, a desperate Mitchell Marsh looked to attack and hit a couple of scoring strokes, but could not make much of a difference to the scoreboard which highlighted the top-order’s failure.

Brief scores:

Australia 154 in 41.4 overs (George Bailey 25, Mitchell Marsh 67; Morne Morkel 5 for 21, Dale Steyn 3 for 35) vs South Africa

Full Scorecard