After Ponting-Clarke century stand, Johnson-Cummins bowl Australia to victoryOctober 20th, 2011 - 3:03 pm ICT by IANS
Johannesburg, Oct 20 (IANS) New fast bowling sensation Pat Cummins spearheaded Australia’s big win over South Africa in their first one-day cricket international, taking three important wickets in a rain-affected start to the series at Centurion.
Cummins, 18, celebrated his inclusion in the Test squad earlier in the week with a burst of speed to rattle the South Africans. He dismissed Jacques Kallis, JP Duminy and Johan Botha at key stages of the game. At this rate, he will become Australia’s second youngest ever Test cricketer by making his debut here.
All the five Australian bowlers returned with wickets. Doug Bollinger continued to make Graeme Smith’s life miserable, having the former South African captain leg-before in the first over. Spinner Xavier Doherty took two for 23 while Mitchell Johnson got back his rhythm to take three wickets and young all-rounder Mitchell Marsh continued his T20 form by taking the wicket of South African captain Hashim Amla (24).
A century partnership between Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke helped Australia to score 183 for four.
Clarke (44 from 48), who predicted his predecessor as captain would be the man-of-the one-day series, is proving to be prophetic as Ponting scored a brilliant 63 off 77 balls.
In a revised match of 29 overs for each side under the Duckworth-Lewis system, Australia reached 183, but had their total readjusted to mean South Africa required 223 for victory.
But the Australian attack, led by Cummins (3-28) and Johnson (3-20), quickly brought about a South African collapse, the home side mustering only 129 before being all out in the 22nd over.
Amla’s decision to field looked correct as Dale Steyn (2-47) dismissed David Warner (20 off 17) in the third over but that brought the punishing Ponting-Clarke partnership to the fore.
That only set the scene for Australian captain past and present to combine at the crease. Ponting opened the batting with Clarke in at first drop, after top-order stars Shane Watson and Shaun Marsh were ruled out due to fitness concerns leading into the match.
Ponting and Clarke looked in great form with 40 and 29, respectively, before thunder storms and continued showers stopped play with Australia 96 for one after 19 overs. When play resumed four and a half hours later, their partnership prospered to 102 before Clarke was run out backing up at non-striker’s end. Then Mike Hussey chipped in with 30 off 21 balls.
Brief scores: Australia 183 for 4 in 29 overs revised to 222 under DLS (Ricky Ponting 63, Michael Clarke 44, Mike Hussey 30, Dale Styeyn 2 for 48): South Africa 129 in 22 overs (Hashim Amla 24, F Du Plessis 27, Johan Botha 25, Mitchell Johnson 3 for20, Pat Cummins 3 for 28, Xavier Doherty 2 for 33).
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