Dale Steyn hailed South Africa’s “relentless” bowlers after their six-wicket one-day international win over Australia in Perth.
The 35-year-old veteran pace bowler enjoyed his return to action following a long injury lay-off with figures of 2-18, while seamer Andile Phehlukwayo claimed 3-33 to condemn the hosts to a seventh successive ODI defeat.
And, after helping to reduce the hosts to 8-3 and 66-6 before being dismissed for 152 in only 38.1 overs, Steyn said: “Our bowlers were relentless with their lines and their lengths and just made it extremely difficult to score.
“When Australia scored runs they had to take a risk and play good shots off good balls rather than good shots off bad balls. “When you’re bowling good balls all the time you’re questioning and putting guys under pressure and their technique and their ability to score.”
The Proteas reached the victory target with 20.4 overs to spare as the Australian side endured a dismal first international game on home soil since the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in March.
The second game of the three-match series takes place at Adelaide on Friday and ODI captain Aaron Finch is in no doubt results will improve. “It will turn,” he said. “The way that we’re training, believe me, the way that we’re training and preparing the wheel will turn and it will happen quickly.
“It might not be tomorrow, it might not be the next day. “But I think if we keep improving and keep practicing as we are it will turn.”