BASSETERRE, St Kitts, CMC – David Warner’s sixth One-Day International hundred proved the catalyst as World champions Australia won their second game of the Tri-Nations Series with a 36-run victory over South Africa here Saturday.
The left-hander extended his rich vein of form with 109 as the Aussies tallied 288 for six from their 50 overs on a good batting surface at Warner Park.
Seamers Mitchell Starc (3-43) and Josh Hazlewood (3-52), along with leg-spinner Adam Zampa (3-52), all then claimed three wickets as South Africa folded for 252 off 47.4 overs.
Faf du Plessis top-scored with 63, opener Hashim Amla stroked 60 and JP Duminy chimed in with 41, while captain AB de Villiers scored 39.
South Africa appeared on course for victory at 177 for two in the 32nd over but Zampa and Starc mainly triggered a slide that saw the last eight wickets tumble for 75 runs.
Earlier, Warner gave the Aussies the start they needed after opting to bat first, striking 11 fours and two sixes in an innings that lasted 120 balls.
He put on 48 for the first wicket with Aaron Finch, who made 13, and a further 136 for the second wicket with Usman Khawaja who scored 59 off 71 balls with four fours and a six, as Australia controlled the first phase of the game.
Captain Steve Smith chipped in with an unbeaten 52 from 49 deliveries while wicketkeeper Matthew Wade made 24.
Leg-spinner Imran Tahir was the best bowler with two for 45.
Warner’s intent was clear from the opening over of game when he crashed the first ball from pacer Kyle Abbott to the point boundary.
In the fourth over, he punched speedster Kagiso Rabada to the square boundary and then lifted him over square leg for the first of his two sixes.
Tahir accounted for Finch in his opening over, the 10th of the innings, when the right-hander missed a sweep and was bowled off-stump.
Warner and Khawaja then dominated the Proteas attack, bringing up Australia’s 100 in the 21st over, en route to 127 for one at the half-way point.
Playing in his usual aggressive style, Warner deposited Tahir onto the sightscreen in the bowler’s following over and proceeded to his half-century off 53 deliveries.
He required 56 more balls to reach triple figures, arriving at his landmark in the 32nd over with a single to deep cover off Abbott.
Khawaja reached his half-century in the same over but Australia then lost both he and Warner in the space of 30 balls with 12 runs added.
Kyle Abbott is spectacularly bowled by Mitchell Starc during Saturday’s Tri-Nations Series game at Warner Park.
Warner perished first, pulling pacer Wayne Parnell to Amla at mid-wicket in the 35th over and Khawaja followed soon after, top-edging a sweep at left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso to fine leg.
On 196 for three in the 40th, it was left to Smith to guide the remainder of the innings.
In reply, South Africa lost Quinton de Kock for 19 with the score on 35 in the eighth over but the right-handed pair of du Plessis and Amla steadied the innings in a second wicket partnership of 105.
While du Plessis hit five fours off 75 balls, Amla counted six fours and a six off 64 deliveries. Amla drove a half-volley from Hazlewood low to Smith at cover in the 26th over to depart and du Plessis put on a further 37 for the third wicket with de Villiers before drivingly loosely at Starc and falling to a catch at backward point by George Bailey in the 32nd over.
Things quickly fell apart for South Africa. De Villiers and Duminy resisted in a 33-run, fourth wicket stand but once the skipper missed a swing at Hazlewood and was bowled in the 38th over, the innings declined rapidly.
D Warner c Amla b Parnell 109
A Finch b Imran Tahir 13
U Khawaja c Amla b Phangiso 59
*S Smith not out 52
G Bailey lbw b Imran Tahir 11
M Marsh c Behardien b Abbott 10
+M Wade lbw b Rabada 24
J Faulkner not out 1
Extras (lb2, w3, nb4) 9
TOTAL (6 wkts, 50 overs) 288
Did not bat: A Zampa, M Starc, J Hazlewood.
Fall of wickets: 1-48 (Finch, 10 overs), 2-184 (Warner, 34.1), 3-196 (Khawaja, 39.1), 4-217 (Bailey, 42.1), 5-240 (Marsh, 45.4), 6-274 (Wade, 49)
Bowling: Abbott 10-2-50-1 (nb2), Rabada 8-0-66-1 (w1, nb2), Imran Tahir 9-0-45-2, Parnell 7-0-34-1, Duminy 7-0-39-0 (w2), Phangiso 9-0-52-1.
+Q de Kock c Faulkner b Hazlewood 19
H Amla c Smith b Hazlewood 60
F du Plessis c Bailey b Starc 63
*AB de Villiers b Hazlewood 39
JP Duminy c sub (Maxwell) b Zampa 41
F Behardien lbw b Zampa 4
W Parnell c Marsh b Zampa 3
K Abbott b Starc 1
A Phangiso c sub (Maxwell) b Starc 3
K Rabada not out 3
Imran Tahir run out 6
Extras (lb8, w2) 10
TOTAL (all out, 47.4 overs) 252
Fall of wickets: 1-35 (de Kock, 7.2 overs), 2-140 (Amla, 25.4), 3-177 (du Plessis, 31.1), 4-210 (de Villiers, 37.5), 5-221 (Behardien, 40.3), 6-236 (Duminy, 42.4), 7-237 (Abbott, 43.2), 8-239 (Parnell, 44.3), 9-240 (Phangiso, 45.1), 10-252 (Imran Tahir, 47.4)
Bowling: Starc 10-0-43-3 (w1), Hazlewood 9.4-0-52-3 (w1), Faulkner 7-0-32-0, Marsh 9-0-52-0, Zampa 10-0-52-3, Finch 2-0-13-0.
Result: Australia won by 36 runs.
Points: Australia 4, South Africa 0.
Man-of-the-Match: David Warner.
Umpires: Nigel Llong, Joel Wilson; TV – Richard Illingworth.