Du Plessis’s hundred goes in vain as South Africa crashes to 62-run defeat
A fine all-round display from Mitchell Marsh helped Australia clinch a comfortable 62-run win against South Africa on Tuesday (September 2) to secure its place in the triangular One-Day International series final.
Marsh struck an unbeaten 51-ball 86 to help Australia post 282 for 7, and then chipped in with two wickets as South Africa was bowled out for 220. Faf du Plessis scored a solid century but South Africa was bowled out in 44 overs.
Asked to bat first, Australia had a decent start with Aaron Finch (16) and Phil Hughes (85) putting on 46 for the first wicket. After Finch was dismissed by Ryan McLaren in the 11th over, Hughes collaborated with Steve Smith, who replaced the injured Michael Clarke, to stitch a 85-run stand. However, South Africa kept chipping away with wickets to stem the flow of runs.
Aaron Phangiso returned figures of 2 for 39 from his 10 overs. He dismissed George Bailey (32), the captain, in the 42nd over to reduce Australia to 187 for 5. However, Marsh’s attack helped Australia amass 85 runs from the last seven overs. Along the way, Marsh struck three sixes in one Dale Steyn over – the maximum the bowler has ever conceded in an ODI over.
In reply, South Africa’s chase never really took off. Quinton de Kock was dismissed by Glenn Maxwell in the second over of the innings, caught by Smith for 1. With only three batsmen reaching double figures, du Plessis waged a lone battle to keep South Africa in the game.
Marsh got the all-important wicket of Hashim Amla (17) in the tenth over to break a 27-run stand with du Plessis. He then got rid of JP Duminy, who gifted an easy catch to Ben Cutting, the substitute fielder, at fine leg.
Du Plessis was finally dismissed in the 42nd over by Kane Richardson, hit-wicket. Mitchell Johnson and Maxwell then cleaned up the tail, ensuring a comfortable win for Australia.