SOUTH Africa opener Quinton de Kock hit a masterful 178 runs in a comfortable six-wicket victory over top-ranked Australia yesterday in the first one-day international of the five-match series.After Australia posted 294 for nine in their innings, South Africa reached their victory target with more than 13 overs remaining.The 23-year-old de Kock hit 11 sixes and 16 fours in 113 balls to record the second-highest ODI score by a South African batsman after Gary Kirsten hit 188 against the United Arab Emirates at the 1996 World Cup in Pakistan.de Kock flayed the visiting bowlers to all corners in the high altitude batting paradise of the Highveld.He featured in an opening stand of 145 before Rilee Rossouw was trapped lbw for 63 to the first ball from leg-spinner Adam Zampa.He then put on another 123 runs with captain Faf du Plessis and was the fourth wicket to fall, caught on the boundary by Travis Head off Scott Boland.Australia had begun their innings brightly with David Warner (40) and Aaron Finch (33) making good starts while George Bailey top-scored with 74 off 90 balls.South Africa, however, took regular wickets and kept the run rate under six on the Centurion pitch, which traditionally favours the team batting second. Andile Phehlukwayo, playing only his second ODI for South Africa, took 4-44. The teams meet next at the Wanderers in Johannesburg tomorrow.AUSTRALIA inningsD. Warner c Phehlukwayo b Parnell 40A. Finch c Parnell b Phehlukwayo 33S. Smith lbw b Phehlukwayo 8G. Bailey c Miller b Steyn 74M. Marsh c de Kock b Phehlukwayo 31T. Head stp. de Kock b Tahir 18M. Wade run-out (Miller) 5J. Hastings c Behardien b Phehlukwayo 51A. Zampa c Miller b Steyn 12D. Worrall not out 6S. Boland not out 3Extras: (lb-5, w-8) 13Total: (for 9 wickets, 50 overs) 294Fall of wickets: 1-64, 2-88, 3-90, 4-131, 5-172, 6-192, 7-271, 8-278, 9-286.Bowling: D. Steyn 10-0-65-2, K. Rabada 10-0-63-0 (w-4), W. Parnell 8-0-56-1 (w-1), A. Phehlukwayo 10-1-44-4 (w-3), I. Tahir 10-0-46-1, F. Behardien 2-0-15-0.SOUTH AFRICA inningsQ. de Kock c Head b Boland 178R. Rossouw lbw b Zampa 63F. du Plessis b Boland 26J. Duminy c Head b Boland 9D. Miller not out 10F. Behardien not out 5Extras: (w-4) 4Total: (for 4 wickets, 36.2 overs) 295Fall of wickets: 1-145, 2-268, 3-280, 4-280.Bowling: D. Worrall 7.2-0-50-0 (w-1), J. Hastings 7-0-52-0 (w-2), S. Boland 7-0-67-3, M. Marsh 8-0-66-0 (w-1), T. Head 2-0-16-0, A. Zampa 5-0-44-1.