South Africa Seal Series Win on Backs of du Plessis, Miller Tons

South Africa Seal Series Win on Backs of du Plessis, Miller Tons
South Africa beat Australia 2-1

South Africa beat Australia by 40 runs to clinch their one day international series by two matches to one.

Both sides want into the match in Hobart unchanged and, with Australia winning the toss, they invited South Africa to bat first. Initially it seemed a good decision as Mitchell Starc had Quinton de Kock caught behind in the second over for just 4, and with Reeza Hendricks and Aiden Markram struggling to find the boundaries against tight and disciplined bowling, South Africa found it hard to make headway, especially when Hendricks was caught behind for just 8, Marcus Stonis this time the bowler.

Markram was joined at the crease by his captain Faf du Plessis and the pair looked to pick up the momentum, but, having added 29, Markram gave Alex Carey his third catch behind the stumps and departed for 32, with Starc again the bowler.

That brought David Miller to the middle to join du Plessis and the entire complexion of the match changed. The pair proceeded to share a stand of 252 or the 4th wicket, with both men scoring centuries – for Faf du Plessis has 10th in ODIs, whilst Miller recorded his 5th. They both had a life each – du Plessis was dropped on 29, and Miller had an lbw dismissal overturned on review when he had scored 41 – and took full advantage of the reprieves they had been given as thy hit the ball to all parts in the final overs.

Both were out just before the end, with du Plessis first to fall for 125, having hit 2 sixes and 13 fours. Miller followed off the third last ball of the innings, out for 139, having hit 4 sixes and 13 fours. Still they had helped their side to 320/5, and set Australia a tough target to reach.

The home side made a terrible start, losing Chris Lynn off the very first ball, caught behind by Quinton de Kock off the bowling of Dale Steyn. Then his captain Aaron Finch fell cheaply to Lungi Ngidi for 11, and, when Travis Head was caught off the bowling of Kegiso Rabada, Australia had slumped to 39 -3.

Shaun Marsh and Stoinis then led a recovery with a stand of 107, but, just when the partnership was starting to flourish, Stoinis, who had hit 4 sixes and 5 fours, was caught by Markram off the bowling of Dwaine Pretorious, for 63.

Marsh and Carey then shared a partnership of 78, with Marsh becoming the third centurion of the match, before he was caught off the bowling of Pretorious for 106, having struck 4 sixes and 7 fours. Australia still had hope in the shape of Carey and Glenn Maxwell but, with the asking rate edging up, risks had to be taken and wickets fell as a result.

Carey was caught behind of Steyn for 342, and when Maxwell was out to the same bowler for 25, the home side were beaten. Rabada took two wickets in the last over as the home side closed on 280 -9, in the end some way short of their target.

Miller was awarded man of the match.

Rajeev mcallister
Sports Pundit staff writer

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