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06 September 201423:26

Steyn, du Plessis seal triumph for South Africa

Batsman falls four short of another century, as South Africa wins first ODI tournament in 12 years

Steyn, du Plessis seal triumph for South Africa - Cricket News

South Africa cruised to a six-wicket win to clinch the triangular series trophy.

Dale Steyn broke through Australia's batting line-up and Faf du Plessis came within a whisker of yet another century as South Africa cruised to a six-wicket victory to clinch the triangular series trophy on Saturday (September 6).

Steyn swung the ball at pace to rip out three quick wickets and record figures of 4 for 34 as Australia was limited to 217 for 9. Du Plessis then fell four runs short of what would have been his fourth hundred of the series as South Africa chased down the target with 55 balls to spare in front of a packed Harare Sports Club.

Du Plessis was the obvious Man of the Series candidate for his 464 runs in five innings, while Steyn was awarded the Man of the Match.

The South African pace spearhead made the early breakthrough when he had Phil Hughes brilliantly caught by AB de Villiers, but his most significant contribution came when he picked up three wickets in the middle period.

Steyn bowled Aaron Finch, Australia's top scorer, for 54 with a vicious in-ducker, then repeated the delivery to trap Glenn Maxwell lbw with the very next ball.

Brad Haddin was also trapped in front at the start of Steyn's next over, and with Wayne Parnell and Morne Morkel also striking, Australia was reduced to 144 for 8 in the 38th over.

It took a 71-run stand for the eighth wicket between James Faulkner and Mitchell Starc to push Australia past 200, but the eventual total always looked well short.

Although Quinton de Kock fell to Maxwell early in the reply, Hashim Amla stroked 51 as he added 98 for the second wicket with du Plessis.

The partnership was ended by Steve Smith’s legspin, and an experiment of promoting Wayne Parnell to No. 4 failed when he was bowled by Faulkner, but du Plessis and de Villiers got South Africa back on track with a 91-run partnership.

That was only broken when the scores were level as du Plessis attempted to hit the boundary that would have made him the first player to score four hundreds in an ODI series, and instead found mid-on.

However de Villiers finished the match the very next ball with a crushing drive through extra cover for four to finish unbeaten on 57 from just 41 deliveries.