A valiant 109-ball 126 from Faf du Plessis came in vain as South Africa were bowled out 62 runs short of Australia's 282 for seven at the Harare Sports Club on Tuesday.
South Africa are waiting on the fitness of fast bowler Morne Morkel and batsman JP Duminy, ahead of Tuesday's ODI tri-series fixture against Australia at the Harare Sports Club.
South Africa captain AB de Villiers remained wary of an Australian unit eager to right the wrongs incurred during last week's historic defeat to Zimbabwe, ahead of Tuesday's key tri-series fixture at the Harare Sports Club.
Left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso is eager to develop a burgeoning partnership alongside leg-spinner Imran Tahir across the remainder of South Africa's ODI tri-series against Zimbabwe and Australia.
Zimbabwe spinner Prosper Utseya took a super hat-trick against South Africa in Harare on Friday, but was not the first from his country to do so in one-dayers, that honour going to Eddo Brandes.