Australia and South Africa squared off in the first ODI at Bloemfontein. Australia won the toss and chose to bowl. It was an innings of two halves for the Proteas. Quinton de Kock was the first to go after scoring a laborious 11 off 31 balls with two fours. Van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klassen and David Miller could not get going.
The Proteas were 100-5 after 25.4 overs and looked in dire straits. While wickets continued to fall at one end, Temba Bavuma was in the zone at the other. The South African skipper cracked a wonderful 114 off 142 balls with fourteen fours and one six. The innings was the need of the hour for South Africa as it helped them get to a fighting total of 222-10 in 49 overs.
Marco Jansen was the only other batter who hung around and showed some resistance as he made a valuable 32 off 40 balls with three fours and one six. For the Kangaroos, Josh Hazelwood took 3-41 in his 10 overs. Marcus Stonis also picked up 2-20 in his six overs. Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Adam Zampa and Cameron Green scalped a wicket each in their respective spells.
Australia won the game by 7 wickets with Marnus Labuschagne coming in as a concussion substitute
It was pure dominance shown by Australia. In the second innings, Australia got off to a torrid start as they lost David Warner for a second ball duck and Mitchell Marsh for 15 off 17 balls with four fours in quick succession. Cameron Green got hit by a Kagiso Rabada bouncer and was concussed. Josh Inglis, Alex Carey and Stonis could not contribute much to the scoring as well.
At 113-7, Australia looked down in the doldrums. But Marnus Labuschagne changed it all when he came in as a concussion substitute at number 8. He smashed an unbeaten 80 off 93 balls with eight fours. Labuschagne found great support in Ashton Agar who made a wonderful unbeaten 48 off 69 balls with three fours and one six.
The Kangaroos won an absolute cliffhanger by 3 wickets. It was a great start for them with two games to go. Australia are serious World Cup contenders and will be looking to bag a 6th World Cup in India.
Let us take a look at the reactions on Twitter:
Kya player hai bhai 🔥🔥
— 𝑴𝑺 𝑭𝑶𝑶𝑻𝑪𝑹𝑰𝑪 ⚽🏏 (@IFootball68275) September 7, 2023
Mr 'concussion substitute'.
— Arpita Shukla (@arpitashukla07) September 7, 2023
Sala concussion hoke hi marta ha kya bas 😂😂
— Aarav Mavi (@AaravMavi14) September 7, 2023
He is a good batsman. That never give up attitude of Aussies is simply 👌
— Srikanth Dhulipala (@SrikanthDhul26) September 7, 2023
Marnus Labuschagne 🤝 Career revival as Concussion Substitute
A Never Ending Love Story
— Tathagat Harsh (@tathagat_harsh) September 7, 2023
He is concussion substitute legend 😀😀
Always play in different conditions whete everyone struggle most positive & busy player from Australia 🇦🇺
— zayn aryan (@KingMukulKalal) September 7, 2023
Ashton agar on the other side 🔥 a match winning knock. I still remember his debut test match (ashes)against eng where he scored 99 ( if not wrong) and got out. That ashes series was won by England. Great character. He was just 19 at that time.
— Sureshkumar (@lonewanderlust_) September 7, 2023
How can Marnus be a concussion substitute for Green? I mean Green is an all rounder and only in the team because he can bowl 10 overs. Not like to like replacement. Australia wouldn't mind though.
— Qayyum Shehzad (@qayyum778) September 7, 2023
Wow he literally comes back with fire 🔥
— शैतान…….. (@Devji412) September 7, 2023
Concussion and Labuschagne pic.twitter.com/ayW53duqQL
— Gagan🇮🇳 (@1no_aalsi_) September 7, 2023