Australia beat South Africa in 3rd ODIOn 01/31/2019 by admin
Hashim Amla and Aaron Finch hit contrasting centuries on Wednesday in Canberra, as Australia took a 2-1 lead in their one-day series against South Africa.
Finch blasted 109 and Steve Smith finished 73no from 55 balls in Australia’s 5-329 at Manuka Oval, the equal-highest total at the venue proving the ideal platform for a 73-run win.
Amla had looked every part a zen master in response, peeling off the runs with textbook strokes and exquisite timing.
The veteran passed 100 while sharing a 76-run stand with AB de Villiers, two of the best batsmen in the world looked set and the visitors had seven wickets in hand.
The equation was a reasonably straightforward 106 runs needed from 77 balls when things started to go pear-shaped for the Proteas.
De Villiers, who brought up his half-century off 32 deliveries, went shortly after being dropped by Mitchell Marsh.
He was trapped lbw by Kane Richardson, one of three inclusions as Australia rejigged their attack and rested Mitchell Johnson.
De Villiers reviewed the decision, but third umpire Billy Bowden was unable to help him.
The next over, Amla was clean bowled by Josh Hazlewood for 102 – his greatest ODI score against Australia.
Mitchell Starc kept the foot on the throat, dismissing David Miller, Vernon Philander and Dale Steyn in quick succession as the hosts steamed towards victory.
South Africa finished on 9-256, with Imran Tahir unable to bat.
The contrast between the bouncy WACA pitch and the batsman-friendly deck in Canberra could not have been more stark.
Morne Morkel, man of the match in Perth on Sunday when he claimed 5-21, went from behemoth beanpole to powerless praying mantis.
Morkel finished with 2-84 from 10 overs – his worst ODI figures.
Philander (1-70) also copped some brutal treatment, while it was the first time since 2009 that Steyn went wicketless against Australia in a one-dayer.
Finch smashed his fifth ODI century, while Smith’s stocks climbed further.
Finch and David Warner (53) made a typically aggressive start to the game, racing to 0-118 before Philander snagged a breakthrough to end the 20th over.
Finch continued to plunder runs alongside Shane Watson (40) and Smith before he was clean bowled by part-timer de Villiers in the 41st over.
It was one of few sources of joy for the Proteas’ skipper, who watched the hosts take 19 runs off the final over in front of a crowd of 10,583.
“It’s disappointing. I thought we were in the game and I got out at a bad time,” de Villiers said.
“Throughout their innings, they never had two new batters at the crease. That was part of our game plan tonight.”
Finch praised man of the match Smith.
“He’s such a hard guy to tie down,” he said.
“He’s a very similar-type player to AB de Villiers. You really struggle to bowl dot balls to them in a row.”