About the Match
South Africa romped on to a gigantic 142-run victory against Australia in the second ODI to take 2-0 lead in the series; the two teams will lock horns on 5th October at Durban for the 3rd ODI. The hosts had earlier won the first match by 6 wickets and they continued to dominate with bat and ball; Australia faces a must-win situation and will try to fight back harder to keep the series alive. It surely will be an interesting contest with both sides capable and eager to come out with all their firepower on Wednesday.
The hosts registered their second biggest victory against Australia after the batsmen yet again dominated the visitors by posting a huge target of 362 runs; Faf du Plessis took charge with the bat and his brilliant 111 off 93 laid the foundation for the superb innings. Rilee Russouw contributed well with 75 while all-rounder JP Duminy posted a strong 82 from 58 deliveries to help the team post 361 batting first.
In the first match, it was Quinton de Kock’s special 178 that helped them chase down 295 runs and with the captain returning to form, the South African batting line-up is surely a tough nut to crack. The seamers led by Wayne Parnell’s 3-40 and others like in-form Phehlukwayo and Rabada taking 2 wickets each, brought the Aussies to their knees and with help from Steyn, spinners Tahir and Duminy, South Africa got the opponents all-out for just 219 on board to win the match emphatically.
In the previous match too, the seamers and spinners combined well to take the steam off of Australia’s batting and after this win they can surely prove to be a formidable team to defeat here.
As expected, the Aussie pace was tested thoroughly and they failed to impress in the second match with bowlers Chris Tremain and Joe Mennie giving away 160 runs collectively in their 20 overs. Speedster John Hastings performed well again taking 3-57 while Mitchell Marsh contributed with 2 scalps but they were unable to restrict Proteas from galloping away to 361 runs.
It was a challenging target to chase and with players like Finch and Bailey falling down cheaply, the responsibility was on Warner and Smith. While Warner posted a well-made half-century, he couldn’t build strong partnership as needed; Smith yet again failed to impress as he scored a meagre 14 but all-rounder Travis Head supported well with 51 off 45 to try and revive the innings. However, his efforts went in vain as they just didn’t have enough fire to carry on fighting, getting all-out by the 38th over.
They have good spinners like Adam Zampa and Head, who have found success previously against South Africa; with seamers like Hastings and Marsh, who can provide regular breakthroughs and an experience batting line-up, Australia can try to strategize better here to keep their hopes alive.
South Africa are clear favourites here after taking a big 2-0 lead that’s boosted their morale; on the other hand, facing a pressure situation, Australia can wake up from its slumber and try to survive. The contest could be evenly fought but we feel that the hosts with their power-packed batting performance are better placed to win the upcoming match and take the 5-match series.