South Africa win in Potch to secure ODI Series sweep over Australia
POTCHEFSTROOM – The Proteas spoiled Marnus Labuschagne’s homecoming here on Saturday, inflicting a second ODI series sweep on Australia to go with the 5-0 thrashing dished out in this country four years ago.
The win continued South Africa’s dominance over Australia in the 50-over format, a streak dating back to that series here in 2016 and has seen the Proteas win 11 out of the last 12 ODIs between the two teams.
Saturday was also the last international match South Africa played at home this season and this series has certainly been an uplifting one for a young group of players and a coaching staff that has been under pressure this summer.
Mark Boucher has one more, big mission to face in India next week, but then - presumably after a short break - he can start to reflect on the last 11 weeks which have been hectic for him, the players and Cricket South Africa.
For now he can board the plane to India with confidence. It is the young players who have shone in this series. They’ve had to. Kagiso Rabada has been absent through injury, Faf du Plessis has been rested, as has Rassie van der Dussen. Step forward then, Heinrich Klaasen, Janneman Malan, Kyle Verreynne and Lungi Ngidi, who’ve been instrumental in this triumph.
Saturday morning here had belonged to Labuschagne, playing his sixth ODI, just 50 km from where he’d first picked up a cricket bat in Klerksdorp 20-odd years ago.
Back then he could barely speak English, nowadays, he’s a to-the-bone, dinkum Aussie bloke who goes by ‘La-boo-shane,’ although the patrons here Saturday were keen to remind him at every turn just how his name should be pronounced.
There was no animosity directed at Labuschagne either, his two landmarks - his fifty and later his hundred - were greeted respectfully, in fact many people stood to acclaim his maiden ODI century. Even more did so when he departed for a wonderful, hardworking 108 that kept Australia in the game.
There was greater enthusiasm for Labuchagne’s century from a 50-strong entourage, who travelled from Klerksdorp and Rustenburg to support him. They included his grandfather, grandmother, mom, wife (who is Australian), aunties, uncles, cousins and an assortment of friends of the family too.
Labuschagne’s celebration of his century was animated, understandable given it was his first, but also where it was. His run-a-ball 108 included eight fours, but ultimately it proved insufficient mainly because none of his teammates could provide proper support. The next highest score after Labuschagne’s was Mitchell Marsh’s 32.
Another 5️⃣0️⃣ for Klaasen |🇿🇦 242-4— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) March 7, 2020
There's NO stopping this man 🚫
Klaasen has now notched his 2nd 50 half-century of the series
He has shown skill, grit & class throughout this series
Describe Heinrich,in this series, with an emoji .#ProteaFire #SAvAUS pic.twitter.com/ycXzSVJa5G
There was a special moment in the South African camp too, with the talented medium pacer Daryn Dupavillon making his debut after a quick trip up from Durban on Friday when it became clear Tabraiz Shamsi - whose wife gave birth the same day - and Beuran Hendricks - illness - weren’t available. Ngidi was rested on Saturday.
Dupavillon marked the occasion with the wicket of Australian captain Aaron Finch, in what for the most part was a very good display by the South African bowlers on a two-paced pitch.
In contrast to Australia, more than one player chipped in for South Africa in the chase, with Jon-Jon Smuts top scoring with 84, Verreynne making his first international half-century and Klaasen, backing up his hundred in the first match and half-century in the second with well played unbeaten 68 in the third.
South Africa 258/4
South Africa win by 6 wickets
South Africa win series 3-0@shockerhess