South Africa ended their forgettable home summer with a comprehensive six wicket win over Australia in the third ODI, and completing a 3-0 sweep of the opposition on Saturday. Half-centuries from JJ Smuts, Heinrich Klaasen and Kyle Verreynne helped South Africa successfully chase down Australia’s 254/7, which revolved around Marnus Labuschagne’s maiden ODI century. Also Read - Cricket Australia Offered to Host South Africa Before Calling Off Tour
South Africa’s decision of putting Australia in was in the hindsight a wonderful move. The surface had enough purchase for Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje, who troubled Australia’s top order. Nortje, who constantly clocked over 145km/h, was rewarded for some outstanding bowling when a ball took David Warner’s edge and sent him back. Also Read - ICC Test Rankings 2021: Virat Kohli Steady at Fourth Position, Cheteshwar Pujara Rises to 6th Spot in Batsmen Charts, Pat Cummins Continues to Lead Bowlers Tally
South Africa were able to keep Australia quiet – they were 38 for 1 after the first Powerplay. After a testing spell by Ngidi and Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo got the wicket of Steve Smith out LBW, review not saving him. Aaron Finch who scored 22 of 48 played an uppish drive to David Miller at short cover. Darcy Short and Labuschagne revived Australia with an 82-run partnership for the fourth wicket before the stand was broken. Labuschagne kept going strong in the company of Mitchell Marsh and took the score to 189 for 6 by the end of 43rd over. Also Read - Australia Announce 19-Man Squad For South Africa Tests; Matthew Wade Dropped While Alex Carey Gets Maiden Call-up
With seven left, Labuschagne switched gears and took on South Africa’s bowlers. He took Lutho Sipamla and Phehlukwayo for five boundaries in two overs en route to a century as Australia hammered 53 in the final five overs with Jhye Richardson adding 24 off 20.
In reply, South Africa were much more fluent in their approach. Janneman Malan and Quinton de Kock got South Africa off the blocks before Hazlewood’s early two-wicket burst gave Australia hope. But Smuts and Verreynne thwarted the advantage adding 96 for the third wicket and landed South Africa’s chase right back on track. Adam Zampa provided the breakthrough with the wicket of Verreynne for a run-a-ball fifty.
But Klaasen and Smuts continued to take South Africa ahead as they stitched together a partnership of 79. Even as Smuts fell for 84, Klaasen completed his half-century and got South Africa over the line for their third straight ODI series win over Australia.
Brief scores: South Africa 258/4 in 45.3 overs (JJ Smuts 84, Heinrich Klaasen 68, Kyle Verreynne 50; Josh Hazlewood 2/37, Adam Zampa 1/45) beat Australia 254/7 in 50 overs (Marnus Labuschagne 108; Anrich Nortje 2/35) by six wickets