Aus vs SA: SAfrica wins 2nd ODI, levels Australia series 1-1
Perth, Australia: Morne Morkel took a career-best 5-21 and captain A.B. de Villiers made 48 as South Africa beat Australia by three wickets in the second one-day cricket international on Sunday to level the five-match series at 1-1.
Handed the new ball ahead of Dale Steyn, Morkel took two wickets in his opening spell to plunge the Australian innings into early crisis, then snared three more in six balls in his second spell to help bowl out the home side for 154. Mitchell Marsh top-scored with 67.
South Africa surpassed Australia's total in 27.4 overs, though it struggled at times in the face of hostile bowling from Josh Hazlewood who was twice on a hat trick before finishing with 5-31.
After de Villiers, David Miller steered the Proteas home with an unbeaten 22.
South Africa was dominant with the ball, thanks to Morkel, but its run chase was muddled and showed a susceptibility to pressure. It lost openers Hashim Amla (10) and Quinton de Kock (4) with only 21 runs on the board before Rilee Rossouw dashed 30 from 25 balls to ease the pressure, taking three consecutive fours from Nathan Coulter-Nile.
De Villiers put on 49 for the fourth wicket with Faf du Plessis (19), taking South Africa to 113-3, before Hazlewood removed du Plessis and Farhaan Behardien with successive balls in the 20th over.
Miller survived the hat-trick delivery and de Villiers helped South Africa regroup with his innings of 48 from 41 balls.
The South Africa captain was then out to the last ball of the 26th over and Vernon Philander to the first ball of the 27th, leaving Hazlewood again on a hat trick. This time Steyn saw off the danger, facing the hat-trick ball and one more before driving the fourth ball of Hazlewood's 10th over for four and the winning runs.
Morkel was Man of the Match after leading a resurgent bowling and fielding performance, helping transform a South African team that was beaten by 32 runs in the first match of the series on Friday.
The lanky right armer found pace and disconcerting bounce on a lively pitch at the WACA Ground Morkel, setting the tone of the match when he dismissed David Warner (0) and Steve Smith (10) during an opening spell which returned 2-12 from five overs.
Australia had chosen to bat when George Bailey, standing in as captain for the injured Michael Clarke, won the toss. Bailey led Australia to its win in the series opener when Clarke suffered a hamstring injury and used his bowlers well again Sunday, though he erred when he brought back the expensive Coulter-Nile for the 27th over when South Africa was under intense pressure.
The over conceded 12 runs, allowing South Africa to move from 141-6 to 153-6 and within sight of victory.
Morkel's explosive opening spell put Australia on the back foot at 34-4 and he had help from Steyn (3-35), Vernon Philander (1-16) and Berhadien (1-40) to ensure South Africa didn't give up its early advantage.
Morkel drove home the Protea's advantage in his second spell, returning in the 35th over to capture the wickets of Matthew Wade (19) and Glenn Maxwell (0) within the space of three deliveries. He finally removed Mitchell Johnson (3) with the first ball of his next over to complete his second five wicket bag in one-day internationals, beating his previous best of 5-38.
Morkel added to his bowling performance by taking two catches, holding his first at mid-on to remove Aaron Finch (8) and his second at short fine leg to end Marsh's innings of 88 balls.
The dismissals of Warner and Wade were both referred by the Proteas to the television umpire and on both occasions the umpire's not out decision was over-ruled. In a first, the deliberations of the television official — Englishman Nigel Llong — were broadcast to television viewers.
Fans saw and heard the umpire request replays from specific angles or the help of hot spot and snicko to aid his decision-making. The International Cricket Council has instituted on a trial basis the broadcast of the television umpire's deliberations to allow fans to better understand the decision-making process.