Harare - An eye-catching all-round performance by Mitchell Marsh helped
Australia return to winning ways as they beat South Africa by 62 runs on
Tuesday in Harare to secure their place in the triangular series final.
As it happened: SA v Australia
struck a brutal 86 not out from 51 balls to boost the Australian total
to 282 for seven, and then took two key wickets as South Africa were
bowled out for 220 in spite of Faf du Plessis' superb hundred.
was the best response Australia could have hoped for after they were
humiliated by hosts Zimbabwe on Sunday to leave their participation in
Saturday's final in doubt.
South Africa's own qualification will
only be confirmed on Thursday, though they would need to be heavily
beaten by Zimbabwe in the final round robin game to miss out.
innings had been pedestrian up until Marsh's arrival, with Phil Hughes
rarely getting into his full stride in the course of his 85 and South
Africa picking up regular wickets after winning the toss and electing to
Although Hughes put on 85 for the second wicket with Steve
Smith, who returned to the Australian side and batted at No. 3 following
Michael Clarke's injury-enforced departure, the spin duo of Imran Tahir
and Aaron Phangiso picked up three cheap wickets.
recorded figures of 2 for 39 in his 10 overs, and his dismissal of
skipper George Bailey left Australia 187 for five in the 42nd over.
Marsh's big hitting came to the rescue as he smashed seven sixes,
including three in three balls off Dale Steyn, and ensured Australia
took 85 runs from the last seven overs.
"I think if we have to pinpoint somewhere that we lost the game it was with Mitchell Marsh's innings," Du Plessis said.
innings was set up to get to 240 or 250, so we as a bowling unit will
be disappointed for him to score so many sixes in the way that he did."
Africa's innings never really got going, with Du Plessis playing a lone
hand as only three other batsmen reached double figures.
grabbed the important scalp of Hashim Amla and then broke a promising
partnership between Du Plessis and Duminy when the left-hander gifted a
simple catch to fine leg.
Mitchell Johnson took care of David
Miller and gave Ryan McLaren a fearful working over, and although
McLaren battled through, he eventually fell to Kane Richardson for 24.
be honest, even when we were going and I was scoring the runs I always
felt like the target was a bit too far away, with us losing wickets all
the time," Du Plessis said.
"You hit a couple of boundaries but then you look up and you still need 120."
with too much to do, Du Plessis was out in bizarre fashion when he trod
on his off-stump to depart from 126 from 109 deliveries.
Johnson and Glenn Maxwell cleaned up the tail, and South Africa were bowled out in 44 overs to give Australia a bonus point.Australia: 282-7 in 50 overs (Mitchell Marsh 86, Phil Hughes 85; Aaron Phangiso 2-39)
South Africa: 220 all out in 44 overs (Faf du Plessis 126; Glenn Maxwell 2-22, Marsh 3-23, Mitchell Johnson 2-30)
Quinton de Kock (wicketkeeper), Faf du Plessis, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers (captain), JP Duminy, David Miller, Ryan Mclaren, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Aaron Phangiso, Imran Tahir
Aaron Finch, Phillip Hughes, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, George Bailey (captain), Mitchell Marsh, Brad Haddin (wicketkeeper), Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson, Nathan Lyon
Referee: Javagal Srinath (India)
Umpires: Aleem Dar (Pakistan) & Russell Tiffin (Zimbabwe)
3rd Umpire: Jeremiah Matibiri (Zimbabwe)
4th Umpire: Owen Chirombe (Zimbabwe)