Australia win one-day series

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Published: Friday 21st November 2014 by The News Editor

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Steven Smith struck a superb century as Australia fought back from the brink to beat South Africa by three wickets in Melbourne and in the process clinch the one-day international series 3-1.

South Africa had looked well on course to set up a winner-takes-all decider in Sydney this weekend when, after making 267 for eight, they reduced Australia to 98 for five in the 25th over.

However, Smith had other ideas and his 104 off 112 balls – his second ODI hundred – turned the match on its head and took Australia to within touching distance of victory.

Smith was unable to see the job through, bowled by Robin Peterson in the penultimate over with the scores level, but new batsman Pat Cummins got the single Australia needed to claim the match – and series – off the next ball, although not without more drama.

South Africa thought they had claimed two wickets in two balls when David Miller appeared to take a stunning one-handed catch off Peterson to snare Cummins.

But, after checking replays, it was confirmed the ball had not carried on the full and Cummins and James Faulkner were able to celebrate victory, with the pair having crossed.

Faulkner’s 34 not out off 19 balls was another significant reason for Australia’s recovery, as was the 52 from Matthew Wade – the wicketkeeper putting on 121 for the sixth wicket with Smith.

That came after South Africa’s bowlers had ripped out half of Australia’s side for less than 100 as the visitors looked certain to level up the series at 2-2.

Earlier, it was another fine batting display from AB de Villiers that guided South Africa to a challenging total after winning the toss.

The Proteas skipper made it to within nine runs of a 20th ODI ton when he was caught by Smith looking to hit a Cummins slower ball.

Aside from De Villiers, Miller contributed 45 and Faf du Plessis 28, with South Africa’s total ultimately proving just not enough thanks to Smith’s determined century.

Published: Friday 21st November 2014 by The News Editor

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