Australia toast Cummins treble
Pat Cummins marked his one-day international debut as he did his Twenty20 bow, taking three wickets as Australia inflicted a crushing 93-run Duckworth/Lewis win over South Africa at Centurion.
The 18-year-old pace bowler followed up figures of 3-25 and 2-26 in the two T20s with 3-28 in the opening ODI today, helping bowl the hosts out for just 129 in pursuit of a revised target of 223 in 29 overs.
There was also a wicket for fellow debutant Mitchell Marsh, while Mitchell Johnson prospered to the tune of 3-20 as South Africa subsided in worryingly meek fashion.
Australia also owed much to man of the match Ricky Ponting, whose 63 anchored an innings that was interrupted for four and a half hours by storms.
His was the highest contribution to a total of 183 for four in 29 overs, which also featured Michael Clarke’s 44 and a rapid unbeaten 30 off 21 balls from Mike Hussey.
Australia lost David Warner in the third over - he had scored all their 20 runs when he played on to Dale Steyn - South Africa captain Hashim Amla having chosen to field first in bright sunshine.
However, Ponting, who opened the batting in the absence of the injured Shane Watson, and Clarke saw Australia to 96 without further loss by the time rain arrived.
They upped the tempo after the belated restart as Clarke took two straight sixes off Lonwabo Tsotsobe, only to be run out for 44 when Johan Botha tipped Ponting’s straight drive on to the stumps at the non-striker’s end.
Ponting, who faced 77 balls and struck nine fours, fell when he drove Steyn to Botha at backward point, but Hussey added further impetus despite seeing Brad Haddin lift Jacques Kallis to long-on in the penultimate over.
South Africa’s response was undermined by the loss of Graeme Smith to the fifth ball - lbw playing across the line at Doug Bollinger - and damaged irreparably when Kallis, JP Duminy and Amla perished in the space of three overs to leave them 55 for four.
Cummins was responsible for the first two of those wickets, showing commendable character after his first ball in ODI cricket was despatched over cover for six by Amla, and added another when he forced Botha, pulling, to tread on his stumps.
Left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty had by then accounted for David Miller and Mark Boucher, while Johnson claimed three of the last four wickets to fall, including top-scorer Francois Du Plessis for 27, as South Africa were shot out in just 22 overs.