PERTH (Australia), November 4: South Africa hammered Australia by six wickets in the first one-day international in Perth on Sunday, with a Dale Steyn-led pace onslaught exposing their batting frailties.
Set 153 to win, Proteas’ openers Quinton de Kock (47) and Reeza Hendricks (44) helped secure victory with 124 balls to spare, leaving Australia with plenty to ponder ahead of the second of the three-game series in Adelaide on Friday.
The hosts came into the clash having lost 16 of their past 18 ODIs and with the reverberations of a ball-tampering scandal this year still hanging over them.
Coach Justin Langer was hoping they could put a smile back on the faces of fans in their first game on home soil since the cheating row boiled over in March.
But without the banned Steve Smith and David Warner, their batsmen were exposed once again in a stadium full of empty seats.
They were bowled out for just 152 in 38.1 overs with Nathan Coulter-Nile (34) and Alex Carey (33) the only ones to offer any resistance. Veteran Steyn took 2-18 off seven overs while Andile Phehlukwayo picked up 3-33 off six overs.
Australia were buoyant ahead of the game with injured fast bowlers Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins returning to spearhead the attack alongside Josh Hazlewood. (AFP)