Australia vs. South Africa: Triangular Series Highlights, Scorecard and Report

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Australia vs. South Africa: Triangular Series Highlights, Scorecard and Report
Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/Associated Press

South Africa beat Australia in style, knocking off a target of 328 with seven wickets and 20 balls to spare in the triangular series in Harare.

Australia lost the toss and were sent in to bat first, and with their array of batting stars, they posted a formidable 327-7 in their 50 overs.

It was a steep chase, made more difficult by the loss of early wickets, but a partnership between AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis set the Proteas up well.

Du Plessis fell for 106, but De Villiers, suffering from a hamstring problem, marched relentless to an unbeaten 136 to seal the match.

Australia Innings
Batsman Dismissal Bowler Runs Mins Balls
Finch c Duminy b McLaren 102 171 116
Hughes c de Villiers b Tahir 51 80 63
M Marsh lbw b Tahir 5 18 13
Bailey c de Kock b M Morkel 66 79 54
Maxwell c de Villiers b M Morkel 7 16 8
Smith b McLaren 31 35 19
Haddin c Amla b Steyn 9 7 7
Faulkner not out 10 28 13
Johnson not out 23 10 8
Extras 1nb 10w 0b 12lb 23 Extras
Total for 7 (50.0 ovs) 327
Bowler Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
Steyn 10.0 0 54 1
Parnell 7.0 0 66 0
M Morkel 10.0 1 63 2
McLaren 9.0 0 64 2
Tahir 10.0 0 45 2
Duminy 4.0 0 23 0


Australia made an impressive start at the Harare Sports Club, with Phillip Hughes and Aaron Finch combining for an opening stand worth 92 runs.

With Dale Steyn a touch below his best after returning to the team, and opening partner Wayne Parnell expensive, the Australians settled into a strong position.

Finch's innings was not full of the power hitting that is often associated with his play, but instead he played with strength on occasion and elsewhere adopted an anchoring role.

It worked, too—with Hughes' exit for 51, and Mitchell Marsh following cheaply as victims of the impressive Imran Tahir, Finch made sure to stay in the middle while stand-in skipper George Bailey played the aggressor's role.

Bailey's 66 from 54 balls included three maximums, but just as they set a solid platform, both men fell in consecutive overs. Finch's 102 was his fourth ton in ODIs. 

Wickets fell at regular intervals thereafter as the Proteas sensed an opportunity to take the gloss off the Australia total, but Steve Smith's enterprising 19-ball 31, allied with Mitchell Johnson's 20 from eight balls at the end, propped up the score.

In reply, South Africa were knocked back by two early wickets.

South Africa Innings
Batsman Dismissal Bowler Runs Mins Balls
de Kock c Faulkner b Starc 19 45 18
Amla c Smith b Richardson 24 36 29
du Plessis c Smith b Starc 106 139 98
de Villiers not out 136 172 106
Duminy not out 33 41 29
Extras 0nb 10w 0b 0lb 10
Total for 3 (46.4 ovs) 328
Bowler Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
Johnson 10.0 0 63 0
Starc 8.0 0 62 2
Richardson 10.0 0 68 1
M Marsh 5.0 0 36 0
Faulkner 8.4 0 59 0
Smith 2.0 0 20 0
Maxwell 3.0 0 20 0


Captain Hashim Amla breezed to 24 in good time before he picked out the man at point off the bowling of Kane Richardson. 

Quinton de Kock's run of good form came to an end, meanwhile, top-edging Mitchell Starc for a catch on the boundary.

That brought together Du Plessis and De Villiers, who played with poise and purpose. Their 50-run stand came in 51 balls, the century arrived in 95.

Each man impressed to bring up their tons, and once they did, the tide appeared to have turned irrevocably.

The loss of Du Plessis and the injury for De Villiers could have made things interesting, but the latter blocked out the pain to finish the match off in style. 

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