South Africa Chase Mammoth Total to Seal Series against Australia

October 06 15:18 2016

kockNew Delhi, Thursday, October 6 – It was a do or die match for Australia on Wednesday and there was nothing they did not do to keep their hopes alive in the 5-match One Day International series. South African cricket team showcased how a modern-day ODI chase could take viewers by surprise.

Having Quinton de Kock, Rilee Rossouw, Jean-Paul Duminy, David Miller, Dwaine Pretorius, Hashim Amla, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, Imran Tahir and Andile Phehlukwayo in the team, Faf du Plessis looked forward to sealing series at Kingsmead in Durban despite the fact that two matches are yet to be played between the heavyweights in the coming days. In spite of the fact that Tabraiz Shamsi, Farhaan Behardien, Wayne Parnell, Kyle Abbott and Aaron Phangiso were not in the Playing XI, they enjoyed each bit of the nail-biting match.

Australian squad hoped to win under the captaincy of Steven Smith. George Bailey, Chris Tremain, Mitchell Marsh, Travis Head, Matthew Wade, John Hastings, David Warner, Aaron Finch, Adam Zampa and Daniel Worrall were picked to perform to the best of their abilities. Those to sit on bench were Usman Khawaja, Joe Mennie and Scott Boland. The new record of highest total and highest chased score was set yesterday by the home side that wasn’t in picture as Australia being one of the tough contenders in cricket.

Australian captain won the toss and decided to bat first. His men did not disappoint as a giant total of 371 runs was put on the scoreboard. Australian fans who were keen to watch the action in the Durban ground were elated to see their favorite side making best use of the wicket and letting Proteas do a lot of running on the field to stop the ball from going towards the fences. Australia were in mood to fight hard and they exactly did so by giving their best possible input to take the team on a strong zone. David Warner once again proved his significance as an opener, totaling 117 runs with the help of 13 4s and two sixes. Aaron Finch gave his team the kind of support that was required. Before being dismissed by Tahir at a score of 53 (4 x 3 and 6 x 4), he and Warner stitched a partnership of 110 runs, laying the foundation for Australia’s robust stint.

Another partnership was dangerous than before as the next-man in was Steven Smith.  His striking innings of 108 runs came in 107 balls, along with nine fours and a biggie. Finch and Australian captain put on 124 for the second wicket, letting South Africa feel the heat. Tahir brought the breakthrough what the hosts were eyeing. Duminy couldn’t afford making any mistake while catching the ball. George Bailey caught the eyes for hitting a six and four in his 28-run knock of 18 deliveries before succumbing to Phehlukwayo.  Mitchell Marsh was the only one to be dismissed without any boundary. Steyn showed him the way back to the dressing room when he was batting at a score of 2.

Steyn brought stint of Smith to an end but it was already late as Australians scored above 300 and had nearly four overs more to play. Travis Head and Matthew Wade utilized the mood of pitch, which was definitely supporting batting. They attained runs in speed. Rabada dismissed Head on the final ball of the 50th over. Head scored 35 runs in 18 balls. His innings included four 4s and a six. Australian wicketkeeper-batsman was not out at 17 runs that came in 8 balls, with a six and four. Australian scored when it was the call for time, but that did not prove good enough to stay alive in the competition as the hosts chased the mammoth target of 372 runs with four balls remaining.

As compared to Australians, the start wasn’t impressive for South Africa. It wasn’t that openers did not perform. Hashim Amla was lbw by Hastings at a score of 45 what he attained in just 30 deliveries. His small innings comprised nine boundaries, giving the rivals a clear signal that they know it very well what is needed to pull off in the end. du Plessis was out by Head at a score of 33, which consisted of four 4s. Quinton de Kock played a useful knock of 70 runs facing 49 balls. Two 6s and six fours from him added a bit pressure on the visiting squad. However, Rilee Rossouw’s dismissal by Zampa at a score of 18 (4 x 1) shifted pressure back on the Proteas. Jean-Paul Duminy lost his wicket to Hastings at a score of 20.

When Dwaine Pretorius was dismissed by Mitchell Marsh at a score of, South Africans were more than hundred runs away from their goal to win. But then David Miller played a not out innings of 118 runs in 79 balls, with 10 4s and six major biggies. Andile Phehlukwayo’s unbeaten knock of 42 runs (4 x 4 and 6 x 2) was of huge help as Proteas defeated Australia by four wickets. They also snatched away the chance of bouncing back in the tournament from Smith’s boys, turning the remaining matches, which are to be hosted at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on October 9 and Newlands in Cape Town on October 12, nothing else but a formality.

Australia scored 88 runs in mandatory powerplay, while Proteas 77. It was team efforts and spirit not to lose that let the home side pocket an amazing win. Miller was declared Man of the Match. The 4th ODI is a question of pride for Australia who would wish to come back on the winning track and go back home on the same note to keep morale high for upcoming tournaments. Proteas are eligible to receive words of praise from cricket fans as everybody knows how difficult it is to thrash Australia, who would now look forward to winning as soon as possible given the fact that unexpected defeat yesterday must have come as a shocker for them. Making best use of the experience and being focused on the goal actually helped South Africa shine and build a psychological stress on the Australia for next two games.

The match played a day ago certainly belonged to the batsmen, who attacked on both weak and good deliveries. Ideal tactics and attacking mode imparted major role in taking the hosts on a winning side. Eyes can’t be shut to the fact that batting line-up of both sides contribute as much as possible from their end. With proper rest, both groups will try to do a fresh and positive start once again they meet. Top and middle orders performed and there was nothing that was missing. It was just that a team loses in the end and another wins. Problems and opportunities were equal for both squads but the home team pulled off at a time when opponents looked strong and did all to be the winner. Since nothing much remains to lose for Aussies in the ongoing series, they can now play without any fear. Mood of the pitch will be important, no matter it comes with or without grass.

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