South Africa's cricketers put the betting scandal out of their minds as they put on a disciplined performance to restrict Australia to 240 for 9 in the opening one-day international at Kingsmead yesterday.
The team was greeted with a huge cheer as they stepped on to the pitch. Security was increased around the ground in anticipation of possible protest action, but officials said fewer than 100 people had cancelled their tickets for seats in the ground which can accommodate up to 18,000 spectators. The atmosphere was jovial at the start of the match and the ground was about two-thirds full.
One banner held up by South African supporters read: "If you can't beat them, bribe them" while another said "Long live Hansie."
Wicketkeeper Mark Boucher emphasised the fact that the South Africans were able to concentrate on their game with five catches, four of them off the bowling of the paceman Makhaya Ntini.
Australia were able to reach their respectable total largely through an eighth-wicket partnership of 65 between Damian Martyn and Damien Fleming which saw the World Cup champions recover from 120 for 7 in the 27th over. Prior to that the only noteworthy partnership had been the 59 runs Adam Gilchrist (51) and Michael Bevan (31) shared for the third wicket.
Fleming was caught off the bowling of the fast bowler Jacques Kallis by Ntini at mid-on for 29 in the 42nd over, but Martyn was at the crease until the last ball of the innings when he was run out for 74. He faced 91 balls and hit seven fours.
Martyn also featured in an unbroken ninth-wicket stand of 55 with Brett Lee, who was dropped by Boucher off the bowling of the new captain, Shaun Pollock, on 17 and went on to make 24 not out.
Pollock, replacing the disgraced Hansie Cronje, celebrated his sudden elevation by winning the toss and claiming the prized wicket of Mark Waugh, trapped in front without scoring, with his seventh ball of the match.
M Waugh lbw b Pollock 0 A Gilchrist c Boucher b Hayward 51 M Hayden run out 0 M Bevan c Boucher b Ntini 31 S Waugh c Boucher b Ntini 2 D Martyn run out 74 A Symonds c Boucher b Ntini 20 S Warne c Boucher b Ntini 0 D Fleming c Ntini b Kallis 29 B Lee not out 24 Extras (lb3 w5 nb1) 9 Total (for 9 wickets, 50 overs) 240
Did not bat: G McGrath. Fall: 1-10 2-13 3-72 4-81 5-92 6-120 7-120 8-185 9-240. Bowling: Pollock 10-3-43-1; Kallis 10-0-53-1 (w4); Hayward 10-0-58-1 (nb1); Ntini 10-0-56-4; Klusener 10-0-27-0 (w 1). * West Indies scored 213 for 7 off their 50 overs against Pakistan in the fourth match of the triangular series in Kingstown, St Vincent, yesterday.Reuse content