Australia End Losing Streak with Win over South Africa

Australia End Losing Streak with Win over South Africa
Aaron Finch Led Australia to a Rare Win

Australia beat South Africa by seven runs in Adelaide to level their best of three series, and bring to an end a streak that had seen them lose their last seven one day internationals.

Australia made two changes to the side beaten in the first match in Perth with Shaun Marsh and Adam Zampa replacing D’Arcy Short and Nathan Coulter-Nile, whilst South Africa brought in Dwaine Pretorious for Andile Phehlukwayo.

It was South Africa who won the toss and decided to field first in Adelaide, enjoying early success when Travis Head was lbw to Lungu Ngidi in the 4th over for just 8. However, captain Aaron Finch and Marsh played positively in adding 54 for the second wicket before Marsh was caught behind off the bowling of Kagiso Rabada for 22.

Finch and Chris Lynn then combined before Finch was bowled by Pretorious for 41.Then it was the turn of Lynn and Alex Carey to try and build a stand, although this was an innings where promising partnerships petered out, as was the case when Lynn fell to Rababa, caught behind by Quinton de Kock for 41. Pretorious then struck twice, having Maxwell caught behind for 15, and then Marcus Stoinis caught by Reeza Hendricks for just 2.

Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc fell cheaply to Dale Steyn, but, then Zampa added some late runs. First he added 17 for the 9th wicket with Carey until the wicketkeeper fell to Rabada, top scoring with 47. Then he shared a last wicket partnership of 27 with Josh Hazlewood, before he was last man out for 22, as the home side were bowled out for 231. Rabada finished with 4 for 54, whilst Pretorious took 3 for 32.

Australia struck an early blow of their own when it came time for the South African reply, with Starc having de Kock caught by Zampa for just 9. Hendricks and Aiden Markram looked to build a platform but then both fell in quick succession, with Markram run out for 19, and Hendricks caught behind off the bowling of Hazlewood for 16.

When Heinrich Klaasen was then caught by Lynn off Stoinis for 14, South Africa had been pegged back to 68 – 4. It was left to captain Faf du Plessis to lead the recovery with David Miller, and the pair combined in the highest partnership of the match, 74, before du Plessis was bowled by Cummins for 47.

Miller had largely reigned in his natural attacking instincts, but then began to loosen his shoulders a little, and added 32 for the sixth wicket with Pretorious, before the latter was caught by Lynn off Hazlewood for 14.

Then Stoinis struck twice in successive overs, first bowling Steyn for 3, and then having danger man Miller lbw for 51. Rabada and Ngidi added 15 for the 9th wicket, but the writing was on the wall for the visitors by this stage, and Rabada was bowled by Starc for 9. Ngidi and Imran Tahir scored an unbeaten 22 at the end, but they ran out of overs as South Africa closed on 224 – 9; Ngidi was unbeaten on 19, and Tahir 11 not out but the spoils, for once, belonged to Australia.

Aaron Finch was named man of the match.

Rajeev mcallister
Sports Pundit staff writer

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