South Africa's tail wagged but their top order failed here as the touring Australians won the first game in the one-day international series.
Despite the impressive late efforts of Nicky Boje and Lance Klusener, with the latter smashing 83 before a catch on the boundary ropes ended the match, the hosts suffered a 19-run defeat.
Chasing 224 for victory, Klusener raised the tempo after the dismissal of Roger Telemachus left the hosts on 166 for 9. Expertly protecting last man Makhaya Ntini, Klusener played one of his finest one-day innings, but he went for one shot too many and Andy Bichel held on to a catch at long on.
FIRST ONE-DAY INTERNATIONAL (Johannesburg) Australia 223 for 8; South Africa 204 (L Klusener 83, H H Dippenaar 51). Australia won by 19 runs.