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

Mark PattersonUK Staff WriterAugust 27, 2014

South African player Faf du Plessis, right, celebrates with AB de Villiers after scoring 100 runs during the   cricket One Day International match against Australia in  Harare Zimbabwe Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014. The two teams are in Zimbabwe for a triangular  ODI series with Zimbabwe (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
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
Finchc Duminyb McLaren102171116
Hughesc de Villiersb Tahir518063
M Marshlbwb Tahir51813
Baileyc de Kockb M Morkel667954
Maxwellc de Villiersb M Morkel7168
Smithb McLaren313519
Haddinc Amlab Steyn977
Faulknernot out102813
Johnsonnot out23108
Extras1nb 10w 0b 12lb23Extras
Totalfor 7 (50.0 ovs)327
M Morkel10.01632

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
de Kockc Faulknerb Starc194518
Amlac Smithb Richardson243629
du Plessisc Smithb Starc10613998
de Villiersnot out136172106
Duminynot out334129
Extras0nb 10w 0b 0lb10
Totalfor 3 (46.4 ovs)328
M Marsh5.00360

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.