Melbourne - AB De Villiers fell just short of a century after laying the platform for an impressive South African batting performance in their fourth one-day international with Australia on Friday.
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De Villiers finished with 91 off just 88 deliveries as the Proteas piled on 267 for eight from their allotted 50 overs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
David Miller hit a quick-fire 45 while six other South Africans made double figures to keep the scoreboard ticking along.
Fast bowler Pat Cummins and left-arm paceman James Faulkner bagged two wickets each for the Australians, who lead the five-match series 2-1 despite the absence of injured captain Michael Clarke.
De Villiers was the backbone of the South African innings, striking six boundaries and rarely looking troubled against the Australian attack.
The visitors were looking set for a total in excess of 300 after reaching 230-4 in the 42nd over when De Villiers lost his wicket, holing out to Steve Smith at deep midwicket after being deceived by a slower ball from Cummins.
The Australians succeeded in stemming the South African onslaught in the final few overs. Robin Peterson hit the only six of the innings, when he slogged a ball from Faulker back over the bowler's head.
But the Australian got his revenge next ball with a slower delivery that crashed into Peterson's stumps.