Marnus Labuschagne, who was brought in as a concussion substitute, helped Australia to a three-wicket win over South Africa in a one-day international on Thursday. This result has left the selectors for Australia with some decisions to make in advance of the World Cup, which will be held in India in the next month.
Labuschagne came in as a replacement for Cameron Green after Green was struck on the head by a rising delivery from Kagiso Rabada. Labuschagne went on to make a match-winning 80 not out to help Australia reach their target after forcing South Africa into bat and dismissing them for 222.
Australia was in severe difficulty when they were 113-7, having scored a lot of early runs but also losing a steady stream of wickets. However, they were able to pull through and win with nine overs to spare.
Labuschagne was the first ever test concussion substitute at Lord’s in the 2019 Ashes when he replaced Steve Smith and made 59. He appeared at comfortable as he took over from Green. This occurred during the match between Australia and England.
Labuschagne and Ashton Agar’s unbeaten partnership of 112 runs for the eighth wicket led Australia to victory in the first game of the five-match series. This performance brought Labuschagne’s abilities to the attention of the Australian selectors, who had omitted him from the team that would compete in the World Cup.
His innings drained the vitality out of an animated home team that was making early inroads as they attempted to defend a low total. Agar’s score remains unbeaten at 48.
Temba Bavuma, the captain of South Africa, reached the end of his innings not out for 114 and became only the second South African player in ODI history to carry his bat through the entire innings.
All of the big hitters, including the opener Quinton de Kock as well as Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, and David Miller, were unable to get going. The destructive Miller was out on the second ball when he edged the ball to wicketkeeper Alex Carey off Josh Hazlewood, who finished with 3-41.
Before being bowled out by Hazelwood for 32 runs, all-rounder Marco Jansen assisted Bavuma in a 57-run sixth-wicket stand that helped to keep the innings on track.
On Saturday, the second One-Day International will also take place in Bloemfontein.