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Monday, April 13, 2009

South Africa Clinched the ODI Series against Australia

South Africa has clinched the five-match ODI series with a match left in hand after defeating world champion Australia by 61 runs in the fourth ODI at Port Elizabeth today. With this victory, South Africa is also on course to retain their no. 1 spot from Australia in the ICC ODI ranking. Winning the toss, Australia elected to bowl first. Batting first, South Africa put on 317 runs on the board losing 6 wickets and in reply, Australia got all out for 256 with 25 balls remaining unused.

South Africa scored a big total mainly because of excellent century from opener Herschelle Gibbs who scored 110 off 116 with nine boundaries and two over-boundaries. Middle order batsman AB de Villiers also scored a fiery innings of 84 from just 74 balls. The two were instrumental behind the home side’s big score, but you can not deny that Duminy’s 25-ball 40 and Boucher’s 25-ball 29 guided South Africa towards a 300-plus total. Debutant Shane Harwood and Mitchell Johnson picked two wickets each for Australia.

Australia started off pretty well in their chase, but the 129-run partnership between two openers Haddin and Clarke was squandered off because of irresponsible batting of the Australian middle order. Haddin scored highest 78 runs off 61 balls, while Clarke scored 50 runs off 68 balls. Captain Ponting’s 53 was also very important for Australia, but the middle order and lower order batsmen could not hold on to the advantage given by the top order batsmen, and thus, getting dismissed only for 256 runs. Dale Steyn got 4 wickets, while Roelof van der Merwe bagged 3 wickets for the home side. The last ODI of the series will be held on 17 April at the New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.

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