Published: Tue, November 13, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

South Africa clinch Australia ODI series with mammoth total

South Africa clinch Australia ODI series with mammoth total

5 Du Plessis and Miller together scored 264 runs - the third-most runs scored by a No. 4 and No. 5 in an ODI.

Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis (125) and David Miller (139) combined for a 252-run fourth-wicket stand, the biggest one-day partnership against Australia. It all meant that Finch's side would have to summon a level of quality batting that they have not recently been able to reach since the bans imposed on Steven Smith and David Warner, save for the remarkable Test century in Dubai by the injured Usman Khawaja.

Mitchell Starc finished with 2-57, while Stoinis nabbed two wickets but conceded 70 off seven overs. Starc, Cummins and Hazlewood had given away 116 runs in 10 overs towards the end.

Gradually, du Plessis and Miller lifted their momentum, aided by a pair of narrow escapes against the offspin of Glenn Maxwell.

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SA's total marked the first time they had topped 300 in the 39 ODIs they have played against the Aussies in Australia, and the partnership was the biggest yet made against the not so mellow yellow fellows in all 919 games they have played in the format.

"We challenged ourselves to put in a performance". You can't just come in and play one way, I think you'll be inconsistent.

Having lost three early wickets after being sent in by Aaron Finch, du Plessis and Miller provided a model exhibition of how to build a dominant position from modest beginnings, getting well established through steady accumulation before accelerating in brutal fashion in the closing overs of the innings.

The duo's hard work could have gone down the drain if Marsh had more determined company at the other end during the chase. Target the spinner because the wicket was tough to bowl spin on and it was just skidding on. Rabada and Ngidi got a wicket each. It's only easy when two guys are set because they understand the pace of the wicket and they're reading the bowlers well.

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"I thought today the way we set up the game was really good, the tempo of our innings was great", Du Plessis said of the record-breaking partnership.

He was also of the opinion that the Australian batting order is pretty weak in the middle, and as an opposition captain he was able to sense the chance to take control if the middle-order was exposed early in the game. "As an opposition captain, you feel there's a sniff there if you can get them two/three down".

"He (the umpire) said it's too late. We needed one more batter to stay with Dave".

Stoinis slapped Dwaine Pretorius to backward point to go for 63 in the 30th, but Marsh made it all the way to 106 - clipped off 102 balls with seven fours and four sixes - before he skied Pretorius into the deep, where Heinrich Klaasen held on.

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