SA vs AUS: Janneman Malan, Lungi Ngidi shepherd South Africa to series win

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South Africa cricket team. (Image Source: Twitter)

The Australian cricket team, already with their backs on the wall with a heavy defeat at Paarl, took on a spirited South African side for the second ODI at Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein on Wednesday.


Australia brought back all-rounder Ashton Agar in place of Josh Hazlewood, while South Africa replaced Temba Bavuma with JJ Smuts.

The buoyant hosts elected to bowl first and backed themselves to chase down the Australian score. David Warner gave the Aussies a flying start in the power play with his 23-ball 35. Captain Aaron Finch stood tall at the other end with key wickets falling around him.


Lungi Ngidi wreaked havoc with the wickets of Warner, Steve Smith, and Marnus Labuschagne. Finch consolidated the innings with his fine knock of 69.

The move to send D’Arcy Short at number five paid rich dividends for Justin Langer and Co. as he stabilized the Australian inning with his maiden half-century. Short scored a crucial knock of 69 and took the Aussie score above 220, before giving away his wicket to Shamsi.

South African bowlers applied relentless pressure at the back end of the innings as the visitors kept losing wickets in their bid to accelerate.


Anrich Nortje ended up with a couple of wickets, giving away 59 runs. Andile Phehlukwayo looked at his economical best, conceding only 44 and getting Mitchell Marsh out of the equation with a peach of a yorker.

The day belonged to Ngidi, who ended up with his career-best figures of 6/58 and was later adjudged as the joint ‘Player of Match.’

Coming out to bat, South Africa had to chase down a target of 272. Mitchell Starc completed his formality by destroying the stumps of Quinton de Kock up front yet again in the first over. The Proteas skipper still has no clue how to play Starc’s full-in swinging yorker.

With the early wicket of de Kock, Janneman Malan and JJ Smuts stitched a valuable partnership of 91 runs. Smuts added 41 to the scoreboard before Zampa sent him back to the pavilion. The match was evenly poised with the wicket of Kyle Verreynne, and the score at 103-3.

Then came the centurion from the previous game, Heinrich Klassen (51), and sent all Australian bowlers out of the park.
However, it was Malan who shepherded the South African chase with his maiden ODI century. Malan took his side across the finishing line, with his poignant knock of 129 off 139 deliveries, which consisted of seven boundaries and four maximums.

Australian bowlers desperately tried to take the match down to the wire with 56 needed off the last seven overs. However, David Miller, in support of Malan at the other end, provided the finishing blow with his unbeaten knock of 37 off just 29 deliveries, at a strike rate of 127.

For his epic knock, Malan was also adjudged as the ‘Player of the Match’ along with Ngidi as South Africa clinched a much-needed 2-0 win, also the three-match ODI series. It is the first time in 12 months that South Africa managed to win a series at home.

The chase of 272 runs was also the best at Bloemfontein by any team in ODIs, surpassing England’s 263 against South Africa in 1996. Further, South Africa continued their domination over Australia in ODI cricket off-late, by winning their last 10 out of 11 games played against them.

The six-wicket win was also South Africa’s 50th win against Australia, which is now the joint-most for them against any team, along with Pakistan. With the series done and dusted by a 2-0 scoreline, the final match of the series will be played at Potchefstroom on Saturday.

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About the Author:
Shubro is an ardent fan of sports, be it cricket, soccer, or tennis, he has an eye for all. Meticulous cricket writer by the day and an avid FIFA mobile player by the night, his life revolves around sports. The goal is to trott around the globe and to spread happiness through his goofy sense of humour. Write to him at mukherjeeshubro@gmail.com.