De Kock on fire in big Proteas win

Quinton de Kock smashed his highest ever total in One Day Internationals as South Africa completed a surprisingly dominant six-wicket victory over Australia in the opening match of the series at Centurion.

De Kock's incredible 178 – just 11 runs short of a national record – ended up turning Australia's sizable first-innings total of 294/9 into a doddle as the Proteas raced to victory with almost 14 overs to spare.

Winning the toss and electing to bowl, the home side were put on the back foot as David Warner and Aaron Finch got off to a flyer.

The openers compiled a quickfire 64-run partnership before Wayne Parnell managed to get rid of danger-man Warner, who was caught at mid-off after mistiming a drive.

Newcomer Andile Phehlukwayo was then smashed for 16 in his first over, but struck a double blow shortly after, dismissing both Finch and No 3 Steven Smith to reduce the Aussies to 91/3 at the end of the 13th over.

The visitors continued to battle with intent, however, Mitchell Marsh smashing 31 at greater than a run a ball before also falling to Phehlukwayo.

George Bailey's 74 would anchor the Aussie innings and prove to be a valuable knock after the departures of Travis Head and Matthew Wade, which had left Australia in a potential spot of bother on 192/6 with 21 overs remaining.

Bailey found a partner in John Hastings, and the duo's 79-run partnership – with Hastings contributing 51 of those runs – would ultimately enable the Australians to bat out their 50 overs and post a formidable target of 294/9.

Phehlukwayo would nab the wicket of Hastings as well to end with impressive figures of 4/44 in his international ODI debut.

The Aussies would have felt very much in the contest as they started to defend their total, but they were about to find themselves on the receiving end of an emphatic Proteas batting display.

De Kock and partner Rilee Rossouw came out firing on all cylinders, smashing Daniel Worrall and Hastings all over the park to race to 145/0 without loss after just 17 overs.

Rossouw would be dismissed for 63 off 45 a few balls later, but De Kock continued his onslaught as Faf Du Plessis offered solid support.

Du Plessis would eventually go for 26, but by that time De Kock had already surpassed his highest ever ODI score, whittling the required total down to just a few dozen runs with close to 20 overs still remaining.

The arriving JP Duminy would not last long, while De Kock perished shortly afterwards too, but the match had already been won by that stage and South Africa were still able to coast to a six-wicket win and a 1-0 series lead.