Faf Du Plessis led another splendid batting display with his sixth century, helping South Africa to a massive 142-run win over Australia and a 2-0 lead in their One-Day International (ODI) series after the second match at The Wanderers Stadium on Sunday. The stand-in Proteas captain batted through a hand injury to make 111 (93 balls, 13 fours) as the hosts followed Friday’s excellent batting performance at Centurion with a total of 361/6 after losing the toss and being asked to bat first in Johannesburg. Rilee Rossouw struck a second successive half-century by making 75 (81 balls, 10 fours), while JP Duminy clubbed a blistering 82 (58 balls, 10 fours, three sixes).
The tourists appeared to be batting within themselves and could only manage 219 all out in reply as they were rolled over in 37.4 overs. Travis Head top-scored with a career-best 51 (45 balls, five fours, two sixes), with David Warner hitting 50 (56 balls, seven fours, one six). Kagiso Rabada was outstanding after his toughest ODI experience yet on Friday, returning figures of 2/31 in seven overs.
Wayne Parnell’s 3/40 meant he was the most successful of the bowlers and Andile Phehlukwayo ended with 2/59. It was South Africa’s second biggest win over Australia in terms of runs – the biggest triumph was a 196-run victory in Cape Town back in 2005/06 – and continued their dominance of the five-match series ahead of the third match in Durban on Wednesday. Quinton De Kock made a low-key 22 at the top after his career-best 178 two days earlier, but it was Rossouw that got them going.
The left-hander, who held on to his place at the top of the order despite Hashim Amla recovering from illness, looked in supreme form before becoming one of three victims of John Hastings (3/57). Rossouw also went past 1 000 ODI runs in the process. Du Plessis, meanwhile, appeared as though he would be unlikely to continue when he was struck on the hand by an Aaron Finch throw early in his innings.
Play was held up for nearly 10 minutes as the skipper took his first run, but recovered and went on to record a fine ton, which saw him share in stands of 76 with Rossouw and 150 with Duminy along the way. The South African lower order did not quite get it right, but still managed to set a substantial total. Rabada and Dale Steyn (1/37) were excellent up front when Australia batted, claiming the key wickets of Finch (1) and Australia captain Steve Smith (14) with only 29 on the board. That double blow proved key as it knocked the confidence of the visitors, who never really recovered.
They lost wickets at regular intervals thereafter and were dismissed with 74 balls remaining.