Australia secured a cathartic, series-levelling victory in the second one-day international against South Africa in Adelaide, holding the visitors to 224 for 9 to win by seven runs, reports ESPNCricinfo.
Australia were bowled out an over and a half shy of their fifty overs for 231, and South Africa fell short despite David Miller’s fifty.
Cross-seamed deliveries and cutters brought the most profit for bowlers on both sides, Dwaine Pretorius picking up 3 for 32 in the afternoon and Marcus Stoinis making several crucial breakthroughs for a return of 3 for 35 that turned the match decisively at the death. Kagiso Rabada’s extra bounce brought him 4 for 54, with three of those dismissals being caught behind, but South Africa’s efforts with the ball were ultimately bettered by Australia’s to keep the series alive heading into the third match in Hobart on Sunday.
Dwaine Pretorius, trialled in place of Andile Phehlukwayo, aced the bowling section of his audition with 3 for 32, while Dale Steyn bowled with pace and venom on a flat pitch to collect 2 for 31 and a fired-up Kagiso Rabada tore through the middle order with 4 for 54.
Aaron Finch, Shaun Marsh, Chris Lynn and Alex Carey all got in and then got out, and every time Australia built up a little momentum, South Africa found a breakthrough, repeatedly exhibiting their ability to prise set batsmen from the crease. Or rather, Australia’s batsmen repeatedly found ways to get out, with poor shot selection throughout the top order.
Travis Head showed there were no demons in the pitch when he eased two boundaries off Lungi Ngidi’s first over, but then drove across the line to fall lbw to the same bowler. Such was Australia’s desperation not to slip up early that Head reviewed the decision, only to see three reds and a delivery that would have hit the middle stump, had his front pad not got in the way.
Finch found his groove more easily through the off side, and it seemed that alongside Marsh, who returned to Australia’s playing XI as one of their in-form batsmen from their trip to England earlier this year, he might rebuild the innings but Rabada had a flat-footed Marsh caught behind driving on the up to snap their stand at 52.