Quinton de Kock blitz earns praise from Steven Smith
Australian skipper Steven Smith lauded Quinton de Kock for his incredible knock of 178 runs in the first One-Day International where South Africa took a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.
Chasing a target of 295 runs, South Africa raced off to a fantastic start with a 145-run opening stand between de Kock and Rilee Rossouw.
Later on, de Kock went on to go past his hundred and slammed 11 sixes and 16 fours, as he hit 178 runs from just 113 balls, registering his best ODI score.
Though Australia managed a few wickets towards the end, the damage was already done and South Africa romped home to a six-wicket win in 36.2 overs.
Praising de Kock for his knock, Smith admitted that Australia’s bowling display left a lot to be desired in the first ODI.
“It was one hell of an innings.
“I thought we started off quite poorly with the ball, we gave him a few freebies to get away.
“We were a bit too short and a bit too wide at times.
“And from there it just looked like he got in a rhythm, and it felt like every ball was going to the boundary at one point.”
Furthermore, Smith also faulted the batting line-up for not managing to convert their starts into a big score, something which de Kock did exceptionally well.
“I think our batting actually. We got a nice wicket to bat on and we gave some opportunities away.
“We got a lot of starts and nobody was able to go on and get a big score like Quinton de Kock did.
“So going forward it’s the responsibility of one of our top four (who combined scored less than de Kock) to post a big total, and if we do that then the team total is going to be big as well.”
Australia also had to rely on a relatively inexperienced bowling attack with most of their front-line bowlers injured or rested.
Given South Africa’s frenetic start and the inexperience of Australia’s bowling line-up, the hosts took full advantage of the situation as de Kock smashed the ball to all parts of the park.
Stating that the experience will be a leading curve for the inexperienced bowling attack, Smith wants the team to stage a quick turnaround in the second game if they want to avoid another defeat.
“We’ve got a chance to see some guys and see how they react to pressure situations like that out there,” Smith said.
“So it’s a good learning curve for them and hopefully our quicks can take a lot away from what happened tonight.
“All the bowlers at times just weren’t able to hit their areas like they normally do.
“So we’ve got to try and turn that around quickly or we’re going to see another display like that on Sunday.”
Australia will be keen to level the series when they take on South Africa in Johannesburg on 2nd October for the second ODI.
© Cricket World 2016