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Klaasen maiden ton sets up 74-run win for clinical South Africa
Match Report

Klaasen maiden ton sets up 74-run win for clinical South Africa

Heinrich Klaasen's first century in ODI cricket helped South Africa cruise to a comfortable win in the opening encounter of their three-match series against Australia.

Klaasen amassed an unbeaten score of 123 to power the Proteas to a daunting total of 291 for seven.

In reply, Australia did well to get to a strong position at the halfway mark of their chase before imploding and losing their last seven wickets for 43 runs.

Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne combined for an impressive 84-run partnership following the dismissals of Aaron Finch and David Warner.

The two found it difficult to pierce the gaps for boundaries as runs started to dry up on the slow and dry surface at Boland Park.

Labuschagne then opted for the aerial route, only managing to give a catch to the man stationed at long-on off Keshav Maharaj.

Lungi Ngidi returned to snaffle Mitch Marsh, taking his tally of wickets to three while Anrich Nortje trapped the resolute Smith leg before wicket to hammer the final nail in the coffin for Australia.

Earlier in the day, Klaasen and David Miller's remarkable stand lasted until the 49th over when the pair was eventually uncoupled.

"That was the difference between the teams," said Australia skipper Finch.

"Klaasen and Miller batted really well. When you have a couple of batters going deep – they scored something like 81 runs in the last ten overs."

Klaasen expressed delight at producing a match-winning knock for his team after a recent difficult period in the international circuit that has seen him lose his place in the national side.

He credited senior partner Miller for the support and also singled out praise for debutant Kyle Verreynne, who racked up an important contribution of 48 runs alongside Klaasen for the fourth wicket.

The 22-year-old Verreynne took three catches, two of which were deemed as spectacular by the pundits given the sheer athleticism involved in the stunning grabs.

South African captain Quinton de Kock voiced the need for maintaining consistency as the hosts search for their first series win in over a year.

"It's a matter of being consistent in what we do and then we will be alright going forward," he said.