Aussies thump SA after Warner, Labuschagne twin tons |

Warner, Labuschagne make huge statements with twin centuries

Statement centuries by David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne have delivered Australia a two-nil series lead after thumping South Africa by 123 runs in the second ODI in Bloemfontein.

Warner returned to form in sensational fashion a month out from the 50-over World Cup to quell doubts over his place at the top of the order for the showpiece event.

Coming off a duck in the first game, the veteran opener’s 20th one-day international hundred was his second-fastest and set the platform for Australia’s mammoth 8-392 after the visitors were inserted by South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma at Mangaung Oval on Saturday.

Warner is the second Australian after Ricky Ponting (29) to hit 20 one-day international centuries, reaching the milestone in 85 deliveries by dispatching a Tabraiz Shamsi long hop to the midwicket fence in the 30th over.

Travis Head (64) was the early aggressor, belting speedster Anrich Nortje for three sixes as Australia put on a commanding 102 runs during the 10-over powerplay.

Left-arm wrist spinner Shamsi’s introduction in the 12th over brought an end to Head’s whirlwind 36-ball knock and captain Mitch Marsh followed him back the following delivery as he missed an attempted reverse sweep and was given out lbw on review for a golden duck.

That’s brought Australia’s super sub Labuschagne to the crease who immediately looked comfortable as he continued on from his match-winning knock of 80no as a concussion substitute for Cameron Green in the series opener two days ago.

With 204 runs from 192 balls in the first two matches of the series, Labuschagne is mounting a serious case for a late inclusion in Australia’s World Cup touring party after initially being dropped and left out of the 15-player squad announced last week.

“(I’ve made) a few slight technical changes that I started in England – I’m a little bit more open in my stance – and just more intent,” the 29-year-old said on the broadcast during the innings break when asked about the improvements in his one-day batting.

Labuschagne celebrates reaching his second ODI century // Getty

“(I’m) looking to hit boundaries, looking to score, rather that lay off and try to manipulate from the start. It’s nice that it’s started so well but we’ve just got to keep winning games.”

Battling cramps after reaching the milestone, Warner’s knock ended shortly after on 106 (93) when Andile Phehlukwayo uprooted the 36-year-old opener’s off stump.

Josh Inglis kept up the assault, posting his first international half-century from 36 balls in a partnership of 83 with Labuschagne for the fourth wicket before holing out to deep square leg off Kagiso Rabada (2-79) the next ball.

Zampa erases South Africa demons with masterful 4-48

Having been recalled to Australia’s ODI squad with Steve Smith recovering from a wrist injury, Labuschagne reached his second ODI ton – both in the country of his birth – off 80 deliveries when he reverse-swept Aiden Markram for four.

He was eventually caught in the deep of Shamsi (4-61) from the first ball of the 46th over for a wonderful career-best 124 from 99 balls that included 19 boundaries and a six.

Australia made four changes to their XI for the second match with Green out due to concussion protocol and Josh Hazlewood, Marcus Stoinis and Ashton Agar rested.

Debutants Tim David (1) – playing his first 50-over match in almost two years – and Aaron Hardie (3) fell cheaply trying to up the ante as South Africa thwarted what earlier looked like a certain 400-plus total as Australia lost 5-26 late.

Hodge presents ‘unconventional’ David ODI cap No.239

Four Proteas batters fell in the 40s as the hosts’ chase faltered following an equally as fast start as the Australians had managed earlier.

Quinton de Kock (45 from 30) and Bavuma (46 from 40) put on 81 for the first wicket in 9.1 overs before the recalled Nathan Ellis (2-32) removed the left-handed wicketkeeper-batter with a sharp caught and bowled.

Heinrich Klaasen (49 off 36) and David Miller (49 off 52) briefly kept South Africa’s hopes alive before Ellis and Adam Zampa foiled any chance of a fightback with wickets in consecutive overs.

Zampa was the pick of the Aussie bowlers with 4-48 from his nine overs with the Proteas all out for 269 when Sean Abbott (2-50) claimed two wickets in two balls in the 42nd over.

Australia have now won 10 of their past 11 one-day internationals as they build towards the World Cup and secured back-to-back wins in men’s ODIs against South Africa for the first time since November 2014.

The two sides move to Potchefstroom for the third ODI on Tuesday where Australia will be out to wrap up the five-match series with two games to play.

2023 Qantas ODIs v South Africa

September 7: Australia won by three wickets

September 9: Australia won by 123 runs

September 12: Third ODI, Potchefstroom (D/N), 9pm AEST

September 15: Fourth ODI, Centurion (D/N), 9pm AEST

September 17: Fifth ODI, Johannesburg, 6pm AEST

Australia ODI squad: Mitchell Marsh (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Aaron Hardie, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Spencer Johnson, Marnus Labuschagne, Michael Neser, Tanveer Sangha, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa

South Africa ODI squad: Temba Bavuma (c), Gerald Coetzee, Quinton de Kock, Brjor Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Sisanda Magala, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Tabraiz Shamsi, Kagiso Rabada, Rassie van der Dussen

Aussies thump SA after Warner, Labuschagne twin tons |

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