South Africa 4 for 153 (de Kock 47, Hendricks 44) beat Australia 152 (Phehlukwayo 3-33) by six wickets.
Australia’s batting woes have continued, with another top-order flop playing a key part in their six-wicket one day international loss to South Africa on Sunday in Perth.
A jarring loss here for the home side, for whom everything that could go wrong, did.
Australia came to the brand new Optus Stadium seeking a new era, a new start, equipped with some energy and elite honesty, and will rightly leave dejected. After losing the toss on an unexpectedly lively wicket, they were roundly spanked by a clinical South Africa.
The home side never recovered after slumping to 3-8 in the sixth over when captain Aaron Finch failed to review a lbw decision that went against him.
Man of the match Dale Steyn set things in motion by snaring the scalps of Travis Head and D’Arcy Short – paving the way for his fellow fast bowlers to unleash on the hapless Australian batting.
Replays showed the Lungi Ngidi delivery would have sailed over the stumps. Australia crashed to 6-66 in the 21st over, and were eventually bowled out for 152 in the 39th over in front of 24,342 fans at Perth Stadium.
Alex Carey partly shone, as did Nathan Coulter-Nile, but this was an entire team collapse, complete with comical run-out for good measure. Phehlukwayo grabbed three and the rest were shared around.
South Africa bowled well in the conditions, making sure they continually challenged the right area, allowing the wickets and Australian impatience do the rest.
The home side wouldn’t have reached triple figures if not for wicketkeeper Alex Carey (33 off 71 balls) and tail-ender Nathan Coulter-Nile (34 off 31 balls). They were the only players to make it past 16.
The second innings was in South Africa’s control from the start, and didn’t relent. Following the script of a low-scoring walkover, a few late wickets might add consolation gloss to the scorecard, but the reality is De Kock and the newly capped Hendricks destroyed Australia’s hopes early, courtesy of solid strokeplay, and capitalising on errant Australian bowling. De Kock, in particular, looked a class above in his knock of 47.
For Australia, Cummins and Stoinis were the pick, but it was really over before it began.
Australia have lost 17 of their past 19 ODIs, and are running out of time to get their act together for next year’s World Cup in England.