New Delhi: A masterclass from South African opener Quinton de Kock floored Australia in the first game of the five-match one-day international series at Centurion on Friday.
The 23-year-old scored a career best 178 runs of 113 balls to help the Proteas chased down Australia's 294 with 82 balls remaining at SuperSport Park.
Playing in his 65th ODI match, the wicket-keeper batsman toyed with Australia`s fast bowling reserves as he hit 16 sixes and 11 fours. (WATCH! How Quinton de Kock humiliated Australians with a spectacular 178 at Centurion)
It was his 11th hundred in the 50-over format, and looked like never getting out. His innings somehow made up for the absence of AB de Villiers, who is recuperating form an injury.
He, however, failed to reached the 200, failing short by 22 runs, with Scott Boland removing him in the 34th over, even as South Africa registered a six-wicket win. The win was also third highest successful chase at SuperSport Park.
Boland was the most successful Aussie bowler, taking three wickets. Adam Zampa took one, as Daniel Worrall, John Hastings, Mitchell Marsh and Travis Head went wicket-less.
de Kock posted two century stands for the first and second wickets, with Rilee Rossouw (63) and captain Faf du Plessis (26). The 145-run first wicket stand of 145 runs came in just 17.1 overs. The same strike was maintained for the second wicket as 123 runs came in 14.3 overs.
Australia, without their regular bowlers, posted 294 runs after Du Plessis put them into bat. David Warner (40) and Aaron Finch (33) provided a solid foundation, stitching 64 runs for the first wicket inside the first ten wickets.
But they kept losing wickets at regular interval, and it was not for George Bailey's patient 74 off 94 balls, the innings would have folded earlier.
Skipper Steven Smith failed to impress after hitting two sumptuous fours. The Innings, however, got a late push with John Hastings scoring 51 off 56 balls.
Andile Phehlukwayo, playing in his second ODI match only, was the most impressive Proteas bowler. The 20-year-old quick overshadowed both Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada with a fiery, disciplined spell of 10 overs.
He took four wickets, conceding 44 runs only. Steyn took two wickets, while Wayne Parnell and Imran Tahir got a wicket each. Rabada went wicket-less.
Second match will be played at Johannesburg's New Wanderers Stadium on Sunday.