Brett Lee and Brad Hogg took five wickets for 10 runs in 5.1 overs to bowl South Africa out for 186 in 47 overs and give Australia a 59-run victory in their triangular series one-day match on Friday.
Fast bowler Lee took career-best figures of five for 22 off 10 overs while left-arm wrist spinner Hogg had three for 32 to blast through the South African lineup after Australia had made 245 all out in 49.2 overs.
Lee had dismissed Graeme Smith and Andrew Hall in his opening spell, then took three wickets, all bowled, in his second to spark the match-winning collapse, while Hogg chipped in by dismissing Mark Boucher and Johan van der Wath.
Shaun Pollock provided some late-order fireworks with 46 off 31 balls that included four sixes and one four in the lost cause.
Australian opener Phil Jaques fell six runs short of a century on his one-day international debut and combined with Michael Clarke (34) in an 87-run partnership.
The bonus-point victory for Australia moved them to the top of the table on 10 points, five ahead of Sri Lanka. South Africa remain at the bottom of the table on four points.
Despite Lee's early strikes when South Africa slumped to 16 for two in the seventh over, Boeta Dippenaar (41) and Herschelle Gibbs (39) had put South Africa in control of the match.
Hogg then had Gibbs trapped in front before Dippenaar and Ashwell Prince combined for 30 runs, forcing Ricky Ponting to bring back express bowler Lee to try to break the partnership.
The tactic worked with Lee bowling Dippenaar, Prince (21) and Justin Kemp (three) in the 32nd, 34th and 36th overs before Hogg had Boucher (five) trapped lbw and Van der Walt (0) caught by wicketkeeper Brad Haddin in the 37th over.
Jaques, a late call-up for the injured Simon Katich, was unlucky to be given out for 94 to a catch by Boucher off super sub Van der Wath at Melbourne's Docklands Stadium.
Television replays showed the ball had missed the bat and brushed his upper arm.
Hall had figures of four for 35 off 9.2 overs.
The next match in the series is between Australia and Sri Lanka in Sydney on Sunday.
D. Martyn b Pollock 11
P. Jaques c Boucher b van der Wath 94
R. Ponting c Smith b Hall 9
A. Symonds c Prince b Steyn 7
M. Clarke c Boucher b van der Wath 34
M. Hussey c Kruger b Hall 18
B. Haddin b Pollock 1
J. Hopes c Botha b Hall 38
B. Lee b Smith 6
B. Dorey c Kemp b Hall 2
G. McGrath not out 2
Extras (lb-3 nb-7 w-13) 23
Total (all out, 49.2 overs) 245
Fall of wickets: 1-17, 2-55, 3-85, 4-172, 5-177, 6-181, 7-208, 8-221, 9-238, 10-245
S. Pollock 10 - 2 - 31 - 2 (w-1)
D. Steyn 5 - 0 - 58 - 1 (nb-7 w-2)
A. Hall 9.2 - 0 - 35 - 4 (w-1)
G. Kruger 6 - 0 - 35 - 0 (w-2)
J. Botha 10 - 0 - 47 - 0
J. van der Wath 5 - 0 - 21 - 2 (w-1)
G. Smith 4 - 0 - 15 - 1 (w-2)
South Africa Innings
G. Smith c Haddin b Lee 9
B. Dippenaar b Lee 41
A. Hall b Lee 1
H. Gibbs lbw b Hogg 39
A. Prince b Lee 21
M. Boucher lbw b Hogg 5
J. Kemp b Lee 3
J. van der Wath c Haddin b Hogg 0
S. Pollock c Haddin b Dorey 46
J. Botha not out 15
G. Kruger c Symonds b McGrath 0
Extras (b-1 lb-2 nb-1 w-2) 6
Total (all out, 47 overs) 186
Fall of wickets: 1-12, 2-16, 3-84, 4-114, 5-119, 6-123, 7-123, 8-124, 9-185, 10-186
B. Lee 10 - 1 - 22 - 5 (w-2)
G. McGrath 9 - 2 - 35 - 1 (nb-1)
B. Dorey 9 - 1 - 51 - 1
J. Hopes 7 - 1 - 28 - 0
B. Hogg 10 - 0 - 32 - 3
A. Symonds 2 - 0 - 15 - 0