South Africa paceman Morne Morkel thrived on a fast WACA pitch to capture five wickets but the tourists made hard work of a three-wicket victory over Australia in the second ODI in Perth.

Morkel's return of 5-21 was his best in one-day cricket and helped skittle Australia for a paltry 154 runs from only 41.4 overs on a day of brilliant sunshine in Perth.

Although losing both openers cheaply in reply and stumbling to 153-7, captain AB De Villiers (48) and David Miller (22 not out) ensured a regulation victory with over 22 overs to spare and levelling the five-match series 1-1.

Australia's innings began disastrously, with Morkel having the dangerous David Warner caught behind for a duck before the same bowler caught Aaron Finch for eight at mid-on off the bowling of Dale Steyn (3-31).

Shane Watson (11) and Steven Smith (10) also went cheaply before George Bailey (25) and Australia's top scorer Mitchell Marsh (67) steadied the innings with a 58-run partnership.

Vernon Philander broke the stand, however, with Faf Du Plessis taking a fine catch low at mid-on to remove Bailey, before Morkel had wicketkeeper Matthew Wade caught behind for 19 and Glenn Maxwell bowled for a duck in the same over.

Morkel captured his fifth wicket when Mitchell Johnson edged behind for three, leaving the hosts reeling at 129-8 and their hopes of building a solid total in tatters.

In reply, Hazlewood was the pick of the Australian bowlers with 5-31.

The third ODI will be played in Canberra on Wednesday.

Scorecard:

Australia 154  allout in 41.4 overs (Marsh 67, Morkel 5-21)
South Africa 157-7 in 27.4 overs (de Villiers 48, Hazlewood 5-31)

Source: Reuters