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19 November 201418:25

Finch, Smith star in Australia’s 73-run win

Starc picks up four wickets as South Africa falls short in chase of imposing 329

Finch, Smith star in Australia’s 73-run win - Cricket News

Aaron Finch's 127-ball 109 helped Australia post an imposing 329 for 5.

Australia took a 2-1 lead in its One-Day International series against South Africa on Wednesday (November 19), cruising to a 73-run victory in the third of five ODIs in Canberra.

While a big-hitting Aaron Finch and Steve Smith helped Australia put up an imposing 329 for 5 in its allotted overs, Mitchell Starc, the left-arm fast bowler, and Josh Hazlewood combined to ensure that the target was well outside South Africa’s reach.

Finch smashed 109 off 127 balls on a slow Manuka Oval pitch after Australia won the toss, in a knock that included nine fours and three sixes, until he was dismissed by the part-time bowling of AB de Villiers, the South Africa captain. Finch had combined with David Warner (53 off 50 balls, with six fours and two sixes) in a first-wicket stand of 118 in 20 overs.

That was before Smith came in and took on the South African bowlers. His swashbuckling unbeaten 73 off 55 balls included eight fours and some unconventional shots – one cheekily hit shot through his legs racing to the boundary.

Dale Steyn went wicketless for the visitors. Morne Morkel ended with figures of 2 for 84, while Vernon Philander, de Villiers and Farhaan Behardien took a wicket apiece.

Openers Hashim Amla and Quintin de Kock got South Africa off to a promising start with a century partnership. Hashim Amla hit 102 off 115 balls and further threatened the opponents with a fourth-wicket stand of 76 with de Villiers, who cracked 52 off 34 balls.

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But with the skipper falling to Kane Richardson in the 38th over, Starc (4 for 32 in eight overs) and Hazlewood (3 for 51) troubling the batsmen throughout, and Imran Tahir unable to bat because of a knee injury, South Africa folded for 256 in the 45th over.

The next two games will be in Melbourne on Friday and Sydney on Sunday.

Please click here to see the full scorecard and follow live ball-by-ball coverage of Australia v South Africa from Canberra.