Aussies cruise past Proteas
Durban - Australia clinched the three-match one-day International series against the when they won the final encounter at Kingsmead on Friday night by three wickets with 15 balls to spare.
The Proteas won the toss and decided to bat first but were restricted to a total of 222/6 which was probably about 30 runs shy of where they would have liked to be.
Australia always stayed ahead of the required run rate although they lost wickets at regular intervals and they claimed victory in emphatic style when Michael Hussey pulled a short delivery from Morne Morkel to deep midwicket for six.
Hussey (45 not out off 64 balls, one four and one six) was able to build on the blitz start provided by Shane Watson (49 off 46 balls, six fours and a six). Watson was the only batsman to have a strike rate in excess of 100 percent with most of the other players down in the 70s at best.
Watson, who also put in 10 tidy overs with the ball, was named Man-of-the-Match while the Man-of-the-Series award went to Hussey.
The Australians deserved their victory as they played consistent cricket throughout while the Proteas had their moments, notably during the 59 run partnership for the second wicket between Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis. The Proteas needed one of the two to bat through but Amla was run out and then Kallis was caught off the top edge attempting to sweep Australian spinner Xavier Doherty out of the ground.
Amla had started the innings like an express train hitting five boundaries off the first 10 balls that he faced. Four of those came in teenager Patrick Cummins’s opening over but there was nothing to beat the two drives he played on the up off Doug Bollinger.
But, like all the batsmen on both sides, Amla found runs hard to come by once the ball lost its initial hardness.
In spite of the big victory in the second match at St George’s Park the Proteas still have some way to go to become a well oiled machine.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) CEO Gerald Majola extended congratulations to Australia on their series victory. “Congratulations must in the first place go to Australia for their series win,” he said. “It was a well contest series by both sides and sets up what should be an exciting Test series starting early next month.
“It is a disappointing result for the Proteas but I have every confidence that our new limited overs leadership team of Gary Kirsten, AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla will put things right for our next limited overs series against Sri Lanka in January.
“I would like to thank our fans for the wonderful support they have given the tour so far which has resulted in full houses at most of the games.”
The Australian victory brings to an end a winning home series ODI run for the Proteas against these opponents which started at the famous 438 match at the Wanderers Stadium in 2006.