Bangalore, Feb 15: In their World Cup warm-up match, South Africa overhauled Australia's score of 217 with 8 wickets and 34 balls to spare. Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla made 65 and 60, respectively, before J P Duminy (47) and A B de Villiers (16) took their side home.
South Africa's innings got off to a very confident start with openers Smith and Amla attacking the Aussie pace battery from early on. With the exception of Brett Lee, all the speedsters came in for a licking as the batting duo dispatched several deliveries to the fence. Even the spinners couldn't contain the batsmen, much less look anywhere near threatening enough to break the stand.
Smith and Amla were going at nearly six an over, crossing 50 in the 10th over and a 100 in the 19th, before the former retired out and the latter, hurt. Then, Faf du Plessis and J P Duminy took their side to over 150 in the 32nd over. But there was a brief moment of respite for the Aussies soon after when Mitchell Johnson ran out du Plessis for 12, making the score 157/2 in 34.2 overs.
Then Duminy and A B de Villiers continued the charge, taking the Proteas to over 200 in the 40th over, before finishing off the match in the 45th. South Africa had won by 8 wickets in 44.2 overs.
Winning the toss and opting to bat first, Australia got off to a poor start as Proteas' paceman Dale Steyn trapped Shane Watson in front for a duck in the first over itself. Then three overs later, Lonwabo Tsotsobe ran Brad Haddin out, also for a duck, and the Aussies were in trouble at 6/2.
But Captain Ricky Ponting and Vice Captain Michael Clarke showed some classy temperament to put the house in order. The two took Australia past 50 in the 13th over and then moved across 100 in the 26th, notching up a century stand and each bringing up their half-centuries en route.
But after Ponting went for 55 and Clarke followed suit soon after for 73, the Aussies were in trouble again at 143/4 in 33.1 overs. A middle and latter-order slide ensued with White run out for 22, and Hussey and Smith going for single digits, and when Hastings departed for 15, the Aussies were 199/8 in 44.4. The end from there came pretty swiftly, with Australia bowled out for 217 in 47.1 overs.
Steyn had been the destroyer-in-chef, claiming 3/21 off 8 overs and off-spinner Robin Peterson picking up the same number of wickets off the same number of overs for 45.