Faff, de Villiers hammer Australia

Pair put on 206 for the third wicket as South Africa chase down 328 to win the Tri-series ODI against Australia.

    AB de Villiers was dropped twice en route his century [AFP]
    AB de Villiers was dropped twice en route his century [AFP]

    AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis struck sublime centuries as South Africa chased down 328 to beat Australia by seven wickets in the second One-Day International of the triangular series.


    Australia innings

    A Finch c Duminy b McLaren 102
    P Hughes c de Villiers b Tahir 51
    M Marsh lbw b Tahir 5
    G Bailey c de Kock b Morkel 66
    G Maxwell c de Villiers b Morkel 7
    S Smith b McLaren 31
    B Haddin c Amla b Steyn 9
    J Faulkner not out 10
    M Johnson not out 23

    Extras (lb 12, w 10, nb 1) 23 
    Total (7 wickets; 50 overs) 327
    Fall of wickets: 1-92, 2-115, 3-229, 4-242, 5-253, 6-268, 7-301

    South Africa innings

    Q de Kock c Faulkner b Starc 19
    H Amla c Smith b Richardson 24
    F du Plessis c Smith b Starc 106
    AB de Villiers not out 136 
    JP Duminy not out 33

    Extras (w 10) 10 
    Total (3 wickets; 46.4 overs) 328 
    Fall of wickets: 1-44, 2-51, 3-257

    The pair put on 206 for the third wicket, the highest South Africa partnership against Australia, as the Proteas reached their victory target with 20 balls to spare at the Harare Sports Club home of series hosts Zimbabwe.

    It eclipsed the 187 put on by Herchelle Gibbs and Graeme Smith as they famously chased down 434 at The Wanderers in 2006, and was no less impressive for the skill shown by the pair as they scored all around the ground.

    After South Africa won the toss and elected to bowl, Australia showed great acceleration at the end of their innings to post 327 for seven in 50 overs, with opener Aaron Finch crashing 102 from 116 balls.

    But it was not enough as the Proteas recovered from a wobble at 51 for two to reach their target with some ease on a wicket that got flatter as the day wore on.

    For Du Plessis it was a first ODI century as he recorded 106 from 98 balls and made a mockery of recent criticism over his slow strike-rate in limited overs cricket with a fine display of finesse and power hitting.

    Captain De Villiers rode his luck after offering simple chances to Mitchell Johnson and George Bailey that were dropped when he had 78 and 85 respectively, and battled on through severe cramp to score 136 not out from 106 balls.

    It is a welcome return to form for the right-hander, who had scored only 29 runs in three innings in Test and ODI cricket on the tour before this match, and is the second highest score by a South African against Australia in limited overs matches.

    JP Duminy scored an unbeaten 33 at better than a run-a-ball to help De Villiers steer the Proteas home.

    The third game of the triangular series will be played on Friday when South Africa tackle Zimbabwe at the same venue.

    The hosts lost their first match against Australia by 198 runs on Monday.


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