|Scorecard:||South Africa v Australia|
|Player:||DW Steyn, WD Parnell, CJ Ferguson|
|Event:||Australia in South Africa 2008/09|
DateLine: 5th April 2009
A ferocious new-ball effort from Wayne Parnell and Dale Steyn set up a comprehensive seven-wicket win for South Africa that levelled the five-match series 1-1 in Centurion. After being totally outclassed in the previous encounter South Africa returned the favour with a crushing win over the Australian side.The result was all but decided after the 8 overs of the match as Australia were reduced to a abject 19 for 5.
Callum Ferguson provided Australia with brief respite from the demolition in posting 50, the second half-century of his six-match ODI career, but it was all academic. When the last man was out in the 41st over Australia had only 131 on the board and it was their lowest first-innings total in a non-reduced 50-over one-day international.
South Africans reached their target with a minimum of fuss, with seven wickets in hand and 23.4 overs to spare. Mitchell Johnson picked up two wickets that along with his one-day career-best score of 30 but solid contributions from Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis ensured the victory was not in doubt.
After Ricky Ponting chose to bat the wickets tumbled quickly, there were a few loose shots but mostly the cause of the damage was the fast, accurate and swinging deliveries from Steyn and Parnell.
In his second ODI, Parnell was terrifically impressive in picking up three wickets from his first spell and he returned to help clean up the tail and finished with 4 for 25. He accounted for both Michael Clarke and Michael Hussey with fullish, swinging deliveries that the batsmen couldn't lay bat on and both were judged lbw. Parnell also enticed Ponting into an expansive drive outside off that was edged behind, a similarly unnecessary shot to the attempted slash from David Hussey, who had struggled to 1 from 12 balls when he was caught behind off Steyn. It was Steyn who had started the carnage when he removed Brad Haddin, who played on flashing outside off from the sixth ball of the game.
Ferguson and Johnson led a recovery process that pushed Australia past their lowest ODI total of 70. The pair added 63 for the seventh wicket before Johnson was trapped brilliantly by a Johan Botha doosra. Ferguson showed maturity in his 83-ball 50 but when he fended a brute of a bouncer from Steyn to point the end for Australia was nigh. One more wicket each to Parnell and Steyn, who ended up with 4 for 27, and the destruction was complete.
Johnson's removal of Herschelle Gibbs, who drove to cover, in the third over of the chase gave Australia a glimmer of hope but Smith and Kallis kept the hosts on track with a 69-run stand that confirmed that there weren't any demons in the pitch. Ben Laughlin enjoyed the second wicket of his ODI career when his slower ball duped Smith into a skied drive for 40 but AB de Villiers and JP Duminy guided South Africa home with ease.
It meant the match wrapped up two hours ahead of the scheduled finish. Perhaps the Australians could find an earlier flight to Cape Town ahead of Thursday's third ODI. They'll certainly be keen to put Centurion behind them as quickly as possible. The only problem is that Parnell and Steyn will follow them.