SA vs AUS 1st ODI: Heinrich Klaasen, bowlers propel South Africa to a series lead

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SA vs AUS 1st ODI: Heinrich Klaasen, bowlers propel South Africa to a series lead
Heinrich Klaasen, South Africa vs Australia. (Pic Source: Twitter)

Heinrich Klaasen’s maiden international century guided South Africa to a 74-run win in the first ODI against Australia in Paarl on Saturday.

Klaasen slammed 123 not out off 114 delivers in South Africa’s total of 291-7.

The Aussies were on target midway through the run-chase but lost their last seven wickets for 43 runs to be bowled out for 217.

Steve Smith (76) and Marnus Labuschagne (41) added 84 runs for the third wicket after the early dismissal of Australia openers. Aaron Finch (10) and David Warner (25), both were sent back by Lungi Ngidi, who finished with figures of 3/30.

When Smith and Labuschagne tried to accelerate, the latter was caught at long-on off left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj.

Mitchell Marsh added 41 runs for the fourth wicket with Smith but was castled by a beauty from Ngidi for 16, and a few minutes later, Smith was trapped leg before wicket by Anrich Nortje.

It was always going to be difficult for new batsmen to get established at Boland Park, and the Australian innings subsided.

By contrast, Klaasen and David Miller (64) added a 149-run partnership for South Africa’s fifth wicket and were not parted until Miller was caught out in the 49th over.

“That was the difference between the teams,” said Australian captain Finch in the post-match ceremony. “Klaasen and Miller batted really well. When you have a couple of batters going deep – they scored something like 81 runs in the last ten overs.”

‘Man of the Match’ Klaasen, meanwhile, said he felt “pure emotion” when he reached his century after a recent problematic period – he lost his place in the team and had to fight his way back. Klaasen gave credit to Miller and debutant Kyle Verreynne (48 off 64), who helped Klaasen add 78 for the fourth wicket after the Proteas had been 48 for three after opting to bat.

The second game of the three-match series will be played in Bloemfontein on Wednesday.

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CATEGORY: Australia, Heinrich Klaasen, News, ODI, South Africa

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