Proteas Annihilate Australia In ODI

South Africa obliterated a massive innings from Australia in Zimbabwe overnight to complete the second-biggest run-chase in its one day international history.

In an otherwise meaningless contest in a three-nation series hosted by one of the world’s least competitive sides, both Australia and South Africa showed no signs of relenting on their heated rivalry, losing just three wickets as the Proteas cruised past the Aussie target of 328 in the 2015 ICC World Cup lead up event.

Led by AB de Villiers’s 136 (not out) and a maiden ODI century from Faf du Plessis, the Proteas chased down Australia’s 328-run target, winning by seven wickets with 20 balls to spare and igniting memories of South Africa’s 2006 world-record 437-run chase-down of Australia in Johannesburg.

Just days after South Africa threaten to treat captain Michael Clarke’s pending return with fire, Australia ripped through the South African bowling line-up to kick things off as Aaron Finch provided a pretty 102 (116 deliveries), helped along by 66 from George Bailey and 51 from Phil Hughes.

The Proteas looked on the ropes when Mitchell Starc and James Faulkner combined to remove Quinton de Kock for 19, dropping South Africa to 2-52, until the world class partnership of du Plessis and de Villiers combined to smash a third wicket stand of 206 from 174 deliveries.

Australia were hindered by a couple of forgettable fielding blunders, including Mitchell Johnson and George Bailey both dropping de Villiers en route to his big total. Questionably, the Aussies also went into the match without a spinner after leaving Nathan Lyon out in favour of Phil Hughes.

The two sides will meet again on Sept 2 before likely facing off in the tournament final four days later. 

Photo: Jekesai Njikizana/Getty Images