Proteas in ‘house of glory’

2014-11-20 13:01
AB de Villiers (AFP)

Cape Town – Apart from its critical importance to the series, South Africa will be trying to defend a dreamy record against Australia when these foes clash in the fourth one-day international at Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday (05:20 start).

Another defeat for the Proteas, following their 73-run loss in Canberra on Wednesday, renders Sunday’s finale in Sydney a dead-rubber affair, as the Aussies would move into a 3-1 lead.

That sobering knowledge will be the key driver for AB de Villiers’s side at the vast MCG, although the captain might also do well to remind his charges that if they are a little up against it now, they might as well be so at this very ground.

The reason is that they boast a remarkable 100 percent record against the Aussies there ... six wins out of six in a period stretching from December 1993 to January 2009.

It may have been some time since the last bilateral ODI encounter at the MCG, which will explain why only Hashim Amla, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel will be likely survivors in Friday’s SA ranks from the 2009 victory, but it is a fact nevertheless that an equalising Proteas victory will simultaneously make it a “magnificent seven” for the country there.

The tourists were led on that occasion by now South Australia-based Johan Botha, as regular captain Graeme Smith had returned home injured after the famous 2-1 Test series triumph of 2008/09, and winning by three wickets put them on route toward an eventual 4-1 outcome in the ODIs - putting the cherry on top of a memorable safari as a whole Down Under than season.

Here is a short recap (from most recent) of all six prior SA wins in as many ODIs against Australia at the MCG:

*January 16, 2009: SA won by three wickets: Australia 271/8 (SE Marsh 79, DJ Hussey 52); SA 272/7 (JP Duminy 71, ND McKenzie 63)

*January 13, 2002: SA won by four wickets: Australia 198 (SR Waugh 62; SM Pollock 3/25, JH Kallis 3/30); SA 199/6 (JN Rhodes 43*)

*January 23, 1998: SA won by six runs: SA 241/9 (G Kirsten 70; SK Warne 3/52); Australia 235 (MG Bevan 57; AA Donald 3/36)

*December 9, 1997: SA won by 45 runs: SA 170/8 (JN Rhodes 42); Australia 125 (ME Waugh 45; L Klusener 5/24)

*January 21, 1994: SA won by 28 runs: SA 230/5 (G Kirsten 112*); Australia 202 (DC Boon 45; RP Snell 5/40)

*December 9, 1993: SA won by seven wickets: Australia 189 (MJ Slater 73; PS de Villiers 3/30); SA 190/3 (WJ Cronje 91*, KC Wessels 70).

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

Read more on:    proteas  |  ab de villiers  |  cricket

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