Australia claimed their first win in the VB Series as they bowled out South Africa for 214 at the Gabba in Brisbane. The 27-run victory came after a stand of 171 between Ricky Ponting and Damien Martyn set the visitors a testing target. Martyn stroked his way to an unbeaten 104 while Glenn McGrath took four South African wickets.
Steve Waugh's side had lost their three opening matches in the triangular series of one-day internationals. South Africa, chasing Australia's 50-over total of 241 for four, were bundled out in 48.4 overs to lose both their matches in Brisbane's weekend double-header. Now, after four matches each, New Zealand lead the series on 12 points from South Africa on eight and Australia with four.
South Africa's main batting hopes were Jacques Kallis and Neil McKenzie, but paceman Jason Gillespie, back in the Australia side under the rotation policy, accounted for both of them. Kallis made 37 off 55 balls before Gillespie trapped him lbw.
But McKenzie's wicket was the big one. He flayed Shane Warne, who again failed to take a wicket and conceded 48 runs. McKenzie raced to 68 off 85 balls before he was caught behind to leave South Africa 175 for six in the 44th over. Andrew Symonds had exposed their middle order by snaring Jonty Rhodes and then Mark Boucher by taking a brilliant caught-and-bowled chance.
Earlier, the third-wicket stand between Ponting and Martyn put Australia in a strong position after they had lost openers Matthew Hayden and Mark Waugh cheaply. Ponting rode his luck to make 80 off 95 balls, while the peerless Martyn's hundred was his third one-day international century.
Australia and South Africa meet again tomorrow in Sydney. "There is always pressure to win and we knew we had to win this game," Waugh said. "We wanted to make sure we improved tonight. I have been very disappointed by the recent media criticism of my team, though not surprised because of the unexpected slow start that we have made to the tournament."Reuse content