New captain Mitchell Marsh led a powerful Australian batting performance and set up a crushing 111-run win in the first Twenty20 international against South Africa at Kingsmead on Wednesday.
Marsh clubbed a T20 career-best 92 not out off 49 balls as Australia piled up 226 for six after being sent in.
Opening batsman Reeza Hendricks hit 56 for South Africa but the hosts were bowled out for 115.
Debutant leg-spinner Tanveer Sangha took four for 31 after receiving a late call-up when Adam Zampa fell ill.
“He’s a fantastic young talent,” said Marsh.
Both sides were missing several key players.
Australia went on an all-out attack, with Marsh slamming 20 runs off the second over, bowled by Lungi Ngidi.
New cap Matt Short (20) and Tim David (64) shared stands of 63 off 26 balls for the second wicket and 97 off 50 deliveries for the fifth wicket with Marsh.
“I thought Tim was fantastic. It was a really good partnership,” said Marsh.
There were 11 sixes in the Australian innings, with both Marsh and David hitting the ball out of the ground and into a road over Kingsmead’s old main stand on the leg side.
The Australian onslaught meant that South Africa needed to mount a record second-innings chase. It never looked likely after Marcus Stoinis bowled Temba Bavuma in a first over which cost only one run.
“It’s been an interval since we last played and it showed tonight,” said South African captain Aiden Markram.
The next two T20 matches, both to be played again in Durban, take place on Friday and Sunday.