The Australian Cricket Team became the number 1 ranked One-day international side with a remarkable 3-wicket win over South Africa in the first ODI match played at Mangaung Oval, Blofemntion on 7th September. They displaced Pakistan who became the number 1 side after whitewashing Afghanistan by 3-0 in the recently concluded ODI series.
Australian stand-in captain Mitchell Marsh won the toss and decided to field first. It was a disciplined bowling effort right from the word go as they did not allow Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma to score runs freely. South Africa kept losing wickets at regular intervals as Aussie bowlers showed discipline lines and lengths.
South African captain Temba Bavuma showed great resilience with an unbeaten 114 not out. The hosts were bowled out for 222. Marco Jansen was the other top scorer for South Africa with 32 runs. It was a superb bowling effort by the Australian bowlers as they kept the other SA batters under check. For Australia, Josh Hazlewood was the pick of bowlers with 3 for 41, Marcus Stoinis 2 for 20, Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Adam Zampa, and Cameron Green picked 1 wicket each.
In reply, Australia got off to the worst possible start as David Warner was dismissed by Marco Jansen in the first over itself. Mitchell Marsh and Travis Head showed intent right from word go putting pressure on the SA bowlers. Rabada produced a superb delivery to get rid of Marsh. Marsh and Head added 37 runs for the 2nd wicket.
Cameron Green was hit on the helmet by a Rabada bouncer. Rabada and Coetzee rattled the Australian batting lineup picking wickets at regular intervals. Marnus Labuschagne came as a concussion replacement for Cameron Green and looked impressive hitting the deliveries away for boundaries.
Australia looked in deep trouble with the scoreboard reading 113 for 7. Labuschagne and Agar looked in fine touch taking singles and boundaries at will. Marnus completed his fifty off 47 deliveries making the batting look easy. Quinton de Kock missed a golden stump chance to get dismissed from the partnership.
Labuschagne and Ashton Agar put on unbeaten 112 runs for the 8th wicket as Australia won the match by 3 wickets with 58 balls to spare.
Australia jump to number 1 rank ODI team
Australia became the number 1 ODI-ranked team dethroning Pakistan. The fight for the top spot is going as Australia and South Africa are playing in the 5-match ODI series, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh playing in the Super 4 tournament in Sri Lanka.
England and New Zealand will start their journey in the 4-match ODI series starting from today onwards. It promises to be an interesting battle for the number 1 spot in the ODI rankings.