The match in a tweet: Precise Proteas defend 190 with ease! SA’s bowlers prove too much on a difficult surface as Australia fall 47 runs short The result: South Africa 9-189 (50 overs, Behardien 62, Hazlewood 2-20, Coulter-Nile 2-38) beat Australia 142 (Finch 72, Rabada 3-10) by 47 runs The collapse: Australia’s pursuit of 190 to win started badly and never really recovered as South Africa’s bowling attack delivered superbly in favourable conditions. The Aussies lost the in-form David Warner in just the second over of the innings and it was a steady procession from there, a 29-run partnership for the last wicket between Nathan Lyon and Josh Hazlewood the biggest of the innings. Exciting young quick Kagiso Rabada finished with 3-10 from six overs for the Proteas while left-armer Wayne Parnell grabbed the crucial wickets of David Warner and Steve Smith. The hero: A superb team performance from the Proteas with the ball makes it hard to single out just one bowler, so we’ve gone for a batsman as our man-of-the-match. SA were in deep trouble at 6-112 at one stage of their innings and they had No.6 Farhaan Behardien to thank for a total of 189 that was always going to be difficult to chase on a slow surface. The right-hander played within himself for most of his innings, as the situation of the match dictated he should, but he still managed four fours and a six as he posted 62 from 82 balls, which was worth a lot more on this pitch. The missed record: Amid the disappointment of a heavy defeat, the performance of Aaron Finch provided some joy for the Australians and had the statisticians reaching for their record books. But a late twist meant the opener fell just short of breaking a long-held Australian mark belonging to two-time World Cup winner Damien Martyn, who was watching on from the commentary box. Finch’s dismissal for 72, the second last wicket to fall, meant Martyn maintains his status as the only Australian to carry his bat in a completed ODI innings, an unbeaten 116 against New Zealand at Eden Park more than 16 years ago. And some late hitting from Nathan Lyon and Josh Hazlewood meant Finch finished with around 50 per cent of Australia’s total, well short of Martyn’s record of 60.73% that was well within reach for most of the innings. The review: Sometimes the Decision Review System can be a great feature of the international game. On other occasions … we’ll let you watch this video and make your own mind up.
WATCH: Aussies secure key breakthrough after lengthy review
The non-review(s): A penetrating spell from Proteas spinner Tabraiz Shamsi created all sorts of problems for not just the Australian batsmen but the on-field officials as well. Aaron Finch was lucky to survive a review when he was hit on the pads from Shamsi’s second ball – the ball-tracking technology ruled umpire’s call on impact with the stumps – before Glenn Maxwell was on the wrong end of an incorrect decision, an earlier unsuccessful review from Steve Smith costing the allrounder the chance to send the on-field ruling upstairs and earn a reprieve. But the ledger was balanced out in Shamsi’s following over when Finch was trapped in front but given not out, the Proteas this time wishing they had a review left to send the decision upstairs.
WATCH: Aussies, SA left to lament wasted reviews
The drought: Ever since Glenn Maxwell posted a match-winning 96 against India at the MCG in January, one of his best performances at international level, the right-hander has experienced a serious run drought in ODI cricket. Since the start of Australia’s series in New Zealand in February, the allrounder has posted scores of 0, 6, 0, 0 and 3, although he copped an incorrect umpiring decision tonight and was undone by a fierce turner in Australia’s opening match. Having bowled just five overs on a spin-friendly surface in Guyana and with George Bailey and Travis Head waiting for their chance, it will make for an interesting selection dilemma as the series heads to St Kitts this week. But with conditions at Warner Park unlikely to demand a second frontline spinner, Maxwell’s ability to provide an option with the ball could be decisive. The consolation effort: Playing his first ODI in nine months, Nathan Coulter-Nile helped turn the match in Australia’s favour early on with an inspired spell on a warm afternoon in Guyana. Having been hit for 25 from his initial three-over spell, Coulter-Nile was brought back into the attack to start the 23rd over and promptly sent AB de Villiers’ stumps flying with his first ball. Having completed a wicket-maiden, the Western Australian then castled JP Duminy with the final ball of his next over as he cranked up the pace on a lifeless surface. He then sent down another maiden to complete another three-over spell that this time yielded two wickets and just three runs. He finished with 2-38 from his 10, an excellent return from the man called in to fill the very big shoes of the rested Mitchell Starc.
WATCH: Aussie quicks fire in Guyana
The run out: Coach Justin Langer had emphasised the importance of fielding against a very skilled and fit Proteas batting line-up and his captain brilliantly led the way today. With South Africa well placed at 2-81 after 18 overs, Smith moved quickly to his left at cover to stop an AB de Villiers drive from piercing the in-field, gathering the ball in one hand causing confusion between De Villiers and his batting partner Hashim Amla. With Amla halfway down the pitch, Smith landed on his backside and from a sitting position hurled a perfect throw to Aaron Finch over the stumps at the non-strikers’ end, sending Amla on his way. The stat: The great AB de Villiers has been unable to score a single boundary from the 87 balls he’s faced so far in the series, proving that even the best batsmen in the world have found the going tough in Guyana. But that should all change when the series heads to the more batsman-friendly Warner Park in St Kitts this week. The wash-up: The bonus-point win brings the Proteas level with Australia on five points while the Windies are just a further point adrift. The series now moves around 1500km north to the tiny island of St Kitts, where Australia will take on the Proteas again on Sunday morning AEST.