Australia vs South Africa 2nd ODI: Morkel’s career-best effort helps South Africa level series

Morkel was named Man of the Match for his career-best figures of 5-21

Morkel was named Man of the Match for his career-best figures of 5-21

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

South Africa pace bowler Morne Morkel’s career-best bowling figures of 5-21 not only helped the Proteas beat Australia by three wickets in Perth, but also levelled the series at 1-1.

Morkel was well supported by captain AB de Villiers, who scored a fluent 48.

However, Australia all-rounder Mitchell Marsh and pace bowler Josh Hazlewood both deserve some credit as the former made a valiant 67 and the latter picked up his maiden five-wicket haul.

Australia captain George Bailey would have been mulling over his decision to bat first after it took Morkel only five balls to dismiss opening batsman David Warner for a duck.

Warner was not given out initially, but South Africa decided to review the decision. Replays showed that the ball had hit Warner’s glove before it was brilliantly caught by Quinton de Kock behind the stumps.

Aaron Finch only made eight runs before he was caught by Morkel at mid-on off the bowling of Dale Steyn.

Shane Watson fared no better as he was given out lbw off the bowling of Farhaan Behardien for 11 runs.

Steven Smith also failed to have an impact with the bat as he was caught by Imran Tahir at mid-on off the bowling of Morkel.

Bailey and Marsh stabilised the innings with a 58-run partnership before Bailey was caught by Faf du Plessis at mid-on off the bowling of Philander for 25.

Matthew Wade mustered 19 runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of Morkel.

Wade was not given out initially, but South Africa decided to review the decision. Replays showed that the ball had hit Wade’s glove before it was caught by de Kock behind the stumps.

Morkel struck again just two balls later when Glenn Maxwell was clean bowled for a duck.

Morkel picked up his second five-wicket haul when Mitchell Johnson was caught behind for three runs.

Nathan Coulter-Nile scored two runs before he was caught by du Plessis at mid-on off the bowling of Steyn.

Marsh ended up scoring 67 off 88 deliveries, which included three boundaries and two sixes, before he was caught by Morkel at short fine leg off the bowling of Steyn.

Marsh's gutsy knock of 67 went in vain

Marsh’s gutsy knock of 67 went in vain

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Morkel was easily the pick of the bowlers with five wickets, while Steyn snapped up three and Philander and Behardien chipped in with one wicket apiece as Australia were bowled out for a dismal 154.

Chasing 155 to win, South Africa got off to a poor start as de Kock was the victim of a superb catch by Watson at first slip off the bowling of Hazlewood for four runs.

Hashim Amla, who was playing in his 100th ODI, made 10 runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of Johnson.

Rilee Rossouw made a quickfire 30 before he was caught by Smith at slip off the bowling of Maxwell.

Du Plessis scored 19 runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of Hazlewood.

Hazlewood struck again the very next ball when Behardien was caught by Warner at gully for a golden duck.

De Villiers made a brilliant 48 before he was caught behind off the bowling of Hazlewood.

De Villiers hit eight boundaries during his knock of 48

De Villiers hit eight boundaries during his knock of 48

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Hazlewood registered his maiden five-wicket haul when Philander was caught by Johnson at gully for a golden duck.

However, thanks to David Miller’s unbeaten knock of 22, South Africa reached their target with more than 22 overs to spare.

Hazlewood was the most successful bowler with five wickets, while Johnson and Maxwell claimed one wicket each.

Hazlewood dismissed de kock, du Plessis, Behardien, de Villiers and Philander

Hazlewood dismissed de kock, du Plessis, Behardien, de Villiers and Philander

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Bailey was disappointed with his side’s performance, and said: “Just not enough runs. I can’t remember getting too many drives and cuts, it was the pressure that built up. Large gap between our best and worst at the moment.”

De Villiers was pleased to have levelled the series at 1-1, and said: “I’m a little angry with myself for getting out. Those totals are always tricky to chase. I like to be positive when I come into these situations. I was confident in the boys. I am not happy that I let them down. I love to finish games. Felt the guys were calm to start with and recognised the key moments. Very happy for Morne Morkel. Behardien really played his role today.”

Morkel was named Man of the Match, and said: “To start well was important in that first over. Always love to bowl at the WACA with the bounce. To take a five-for against this quality line-up is going into the memory bank for me.”

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