January 27, 2009 11:14:47 pm
After winning the Test series,South Africa ensured a series win in the one-day internationals as well,crushing Australia by eight wickets on their national day and take a decisive 3-1 lead in the 5-match series at Adelaide Oval in a lopsided floodlit contest. The hosts,though,retain their top spot in both forms of the game,something that can well change during their return series in South Africa next month.
Opting to bat first,Australia put up a sordid batting display and folded up for 222 in 48 overs,with only Ricky Ponting (63),James Hopes (42) and Cameron White (30) saving them the blushes. South Africas pace colleagues Makhaya Ntini (3/52) and Dale Steyn (3/49) wrecked the Australian top order with the new ball. In reply,South Africa required just 38.1 overs to overwhelm the target with Hashim Amla (80 not out),AB de Villiers (82 not out) and Herschelle Gibbs (36) starring in the chase. The last match in Perth on Friday now remains only of academic interest.
The Proteas were off to a flying start with Gibbs in ominous form. The right-hander went after Ben Hilfenhaus and hit the bowler for two boundaries in his first over. Hilfenhaus did manage to send him back in the 10th over but not before Gibbs had blasted a 29-ball 38. Jacques Kallis hit three quick boundaries before Hopes removed him after a 12-ball 13 and Australia didnt get another occasion to celebrate.
Amla and de Villiers stitched together 144 runs for the third wicket in 25.5 overs to seal the matter. Amlas unbeaten 80 came off 103 balls with seven fours in it. De Villiers was more aggressive and his 82 came off 85 balls with six fours and a flat-batted six off David Hussey which also brought up his fifty.
Earlier,Pontings decision to bat first boomeranged and Australia lost both their openers Shaun Marsh (13) and David Warner (1) inside three overs when the team score was 17. Australia expected another blitzkrieg from Warner but the youngster perished as early as the second over,chipping Steyn to Morne Morkel at mid-on. Marsh opened with three boundaries off Steyn before falling to Ntini.
Ponting and Michael Hussey (28) added 93 runs for the third wicket but South Africa captain Johan Botha (2/28) broke the stand to trigger a batting collapse and Australia lost Michael Hussey,Brad Haddin (3),Ponting and David Hussey (24) in quick succession to slump to 151 for six. White and Hopes added 37 runs but it was too little,too late. Pontings 70-ball 63 was the lone resistance in the face of South Africas spirited attack,including nine boundaries.
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