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16 November 201416:34

Morkel sets up series-levelling win for South Africa

Paceman's career-best 5 for 21 restricted Australia to 154 and eclipsed Hazlewood’s five-wicket haul

Morkel sets up series-levelling win for South Africa - Cricket News

Morne Morkel achieved a career-best 5 for 21.

Two bowlers picked up a five-for in the second One-Day International in Perth on Sunday (November 16), but Morne Morkel went home happier than Josh Hazlewood as South Africa secured a three-wicket win against Australia to level the five-match series 1-1.

Morkel achieved a career-best 5 for 21 to skittle Australia out for 154, but the batsmen nearly made a meal of it before getting there in 27.4 overs.

South Africa lost both openers cheaply, before Rilee Rossouw and Faf du Plessis steadied the innings. Rossouw, in particular, took charge, slamming three consecutive boundaries off Nathan Coulter-Nile's first over.

Australia thought it had got rid of du Plessis when the umpire ruled him leg before, but he won the review as replays showed the ball missing leg stump. When Rossou departed for 30 off Glenn Maxwell's bowling, AB de Villiers strode in and kept South Africa on course.

De Villiers unleashed a flurry of boundaries, a straight drive off Mitchell Johnson being one of the highlights. Hazlewood gave Australia a glimmer of hope, knocking over du Plessis and Farhaan Behardien in consecutive deliveries and six overs later, snaring de Villiers for 48.



But David Miller (22 not out) took the side to the brink of victory, and Dale Steyn hit the winning runs to take South Africa across the line with 22.2 overs to spare.

Earlier, Mitchell Marsh made a valiant 67 to help his team cross 150. Australia’s batsmen notched up 300 in the first ODI on the same ground, but this time around, they were in for a rude awakening. Morkel struck in his first over, rapping David Warner on the gloves. The umpire had called it not out, but the decision was overturned after South Africa asked for a review.

Aaron Finch, Steve Smith, coming in for an injured Michael Clarke, and Shane Watson too didn’t last long as de Villiers kept the batsmen guessing, juggling his bowlers cleverly.

The only semblance of a partnership came from the 58-run stand between Marsh and George Bailey. Bailey, Australia’s stand-in captain, made a patient 45-ball 27 before mistiming a pull off Vernon Philander.

Mathew Wade then fell for 19 after another successful review from South Africa. Morkel pitched it short and the ball seemed to graze Wade’s shirt near his glove. HotSpot, however, indicated a light mark on his glove.

Steyn finally had Marsh, the last man out, caught by Morkel, to wrap up the innings and finish with figures of 3 for 35. Marsh’s 88-ball knock included three fours and two sixes.

The teams will now travel to Canberra for the third ODI on November 19, before fixtures at Melbourne (November 21) and Sydney (November 23).

To see the scorecard and review the Australia v South Africa match in full, please click here.