Australia Team. (Photo Source: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Australia registered a comprehensive victory in the second ODI against South Africa as they beat them by 123 runs at Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein. Batting first, Australia posted a massive score of 392/8 courtesy of hundreds from David Warner (106 off 93) and Marnus Labuschagne (124 off 99). In reply, the Proteas came under pressure of the massive total on the board and were dismissed for 269 as Australia took a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.
Following two consecutive victories, Australia are back on the top of the ICC ODI team rankings. The Pat Cummins-led side sit on top of the rankings with 121 ratings closely followed by Pakistan who take the second spot with 120 ratings. India take the third spot with 114 ratings.
Notably, Pakistan dethroned Australia from the top spot in August after their 3-0 whitewash against Afghanistan. The Babar Azam-led side has been unbeaten so far in the ongoing Asia Cup 2023 having finished on the top of Group A having three points to their name from two matches. They’re further on the top of the Super 4s stage as well having beaten Bangladesh in their first game.
Meanwhile, Australia put on a batting masterclass in Bloemfontein as openers David Warner and Travis Head (64 off 36) added a 109-run partnership off just 71 balls. Following that, Labuschagne walked in at number four and added a 151-run partnership for the third wicket with Warner. After reaching three figures, Warner etched his name in the history books as he registered the most number of hundreds by an opener in international cricket with 46 tons to his name.
Marnus Labuschagne in red hot form
The Australian opener surpassed Sachin Tendulkar’s tally of 45 hundreds to take the top spot. On the other hand, Labuschagne continued his sensational form and won his second consecutive Player of the Match award in the series. Earlier in the first game, he played a magnificent innings of 80* (93) to guide Australia to a three-wicket win.
The 29-year-old is making strong statements with his bat after not getting picked in Australia’s World Cup squad. Labuschagne has scored 204 runs from two innings in the series so far at an average of 204. The South Africa-born cricketer is knocking on the doors of the selectors with his stupendous performances ahead of the mega event.