Fast bowler Lungi Ngidi and opening batsman Janneman Malan shared the Player of the Match award, as South Africa beat Australia by six wickets in Wednesday's second ODI at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein.
The result afforded the South Africans an unassailable two-nil series lead. The Proteas are priced at 2.50 by bet365 to win the third and final ODI at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom later this week.
Ngidi snared telling figures of six for 58 to limit the Australians to a final total of 271 all out. His haul included the key dismissals of the dangerous David Warner and Steven Smith.
“I was given the challenge before the game by coach. He said if I could knock over the big three, that was one of the challenges he gave to me, so I came out with that mentality and it seems to have worked pretty well,” said Ngidi.
“I used a bit of a cross seam, which was very beneficial and at the back end of the innings I tried to do the lower-order batsmen with the odd slower ball.
“We've been told to work pretty hard on our death bowling and with the last few games, it is something where teams can really be tested, coming out with those skills and being able to restrict teams and take wickets was really key for us at the back end.”
More from Malan
Malan then hit a maiden ODI century, as the hosts won with nine balls to spare. His 129 not out spanned 139 deliveries – and featured seven fours and four sixes. He shared important partnerships with middle-order batsmen Jon-Jon Smuts, Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller.
“Finishing that innings was brilliant and Smuts for steadying the ship, Heinrich with his run-a-ball 50 and David at the end. It was great partners to have in the chase,” added Malan.
“There was a bit of a chat about targets after 30 overs. My partners came in when I was itching a bit and they just said that I need to pull it through and it was a well-composed finish by the team.
“With the sun going down, it just started skidding a bit more. I think the ball probably got a bit wet in the outfield and it felt a bit easier to hit at the end.”