Proteas whitewash Aussies as Warner dazzles

The Proteas celebrate the wicket of George Bailey (Gallo).
The Proteas celebrate the wicket of George Bailey (Gallo).

Cape Town - An explosive century from Australian opener David Warner was not enough to prevent South Africa claiming a 5-0 whitewash as the curtain came down on a memorable ODI series for Faf du Plessis and his men in Cape Town on Wednesday. 

Warner played a special knock, eventually falling for 173, but the Proteas did enough to secure a 31-run victory in a pulsating clash at Newlands.

The Proteas had earlier relied on a 178-run fourth wicket partnership between Rilee Rossouw (122) and JP Duminy (73) to post 327/8 from their 50 overs.

Australia were dismissed for 296.


South Africa went into the match with four changes from the side that won so easily in Port Elizabeth on Sunday. 

David Miller, Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada and Imran Tahir returned while Farhaan Behardien, Dwaine Pretorius, Aaron Phangiso and Tabraiz Shamsi dropped out. 

After a wobbly start, the Proteas found themselves at 52/3 before Rossouw and Duminy rescued the innings.

South Africa had won the toss and opted to bat, but Australia got rid of Quinton de Kock (12), Hashim Amla (25) and Du Plessis (11) quickly.

Rossouw, though, continued his fine form - his century leaving him on 311 runs for the series at an average of 77.75.

There was a late cameo from Durban hero David Miller (39 from 29) but in the end it was Rossouw and Duminy who were most influential.

Australia were off to a flyer in their chase - Warner setting the pace in all too familiar fashion. 

He did give the Proteas a golden chance, though, in just the 6th over when he was dropped by a diving Quinton de Kock on 11 off the bowling of Kagiso Rabada. De Kock, in hindsight, should have left the ball for Amla at slip, but the opportunity was gone. 

By the end of the 10th over, Australia were 60/0 with Warner responsible for 41 of the runs. 

But when Du Plessis tossed the ball to Imran Tahir in the 14th over, the momentum was about to shift. 

Tahir bowled Aaron Finch (19) with his fourth ball of the over with a flat, quick delivery and then had Australian captain Steve Smith (0) bowled second ball in very similar fashion. 

Both celebrations saw Tahir off on his customary lap around the ground as Newlands began to smell blood. 

Andile Phehlukwayo was next to strike when he had the struggling George Bailey out for 2, dragging one onto his stumps. 

By the end of the 20th over, Australia had slipped to 84/3.

But Warner soldiered on, and there was a sense that Australia were always in with a shout as long as he was at the wicket. 

He had able support from Mitch Marsh (35) as the pair put on a 64-run partnership for the fourth wicket before the Aussie all-rounder was clean bowled by Rabada. 

Warner cruised to his century off just 88 balls in the 32nd over, but the finish line was still a distance away for the Aussies. 

Travis Head, meanwhile, gave Warner the support he needed when Australia were simply desperate for it. 

There was a heated moment in the 37th over when Tahir and Warner clashed - the verbal joust continuing for the next few overs. 

With the match in the balance, Kyle Abbott made the breakthrough in the 41st over when Head (35) top-edged a shortish delivery. 

De Kock, this time, made no mistake and the Aussies were left with it all to do.

Abbott then had Matt Wade (7) caught behind before Joe Tremain (0) was caught at mid-off of Rabada as Warner began to run out of partners.

The Aussie opener went to 150 off 125 balls (21x4) in the 45th over, and at that stage Australia needed 67 off 35. 

When Chris Tremain was run out, it looked like the Aussies were dead an buried. 

But Warner had other ideas. 

He hit Rabada for three 4s in the 46th over, leaving Australia with 48 to get from 24 balls with just two wickets in hand. 

Then, in poetic fashion, Warner was finally dismissed courtesy of a bullet Tahir throw from the deep point boundary. 

The Proteas leg-spinner couldn't get Warner while he was bowling, but he celebrated all the same as a superb innings came to an end and Australia's hopes disappeared.

Scores in brief: 


327/8 (Rossouw 122, Duminy 73, Miller 39, Mennie 3/49)


295 in 48.1 (Warner 173, Marsh 35, Head 35, Tahir 2/42, Abbott 2/48, Rabada 2/84)

SA won by 32 runs

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