Monday, January 26, 2009

Cricket: It's Australia Day but South Africans rule down under - win 4th ODI by 8 wickets

The Proteas have won the 4th ODI in convincing fashion

[ADELAIDE] South Africa have made history in Australia by winning first the Test Series, and now the ODI series. They won the decisive 4th match by a convincing 8 wickets, with 13 overs remaining.

Before the match, Ponting said on Fox Sports: “Obviously it's a must-win for us. I think that we've seen in the last few games that we know if we play our best cricket we're going to be very competitive."

While Ponting played competitively, the side lacked lustre. Australia set the gettable target of 223, bowled out for 48 overs with Dale Steyn bowling 3-49. All in all the Proteas maintained a tight bowling attack.

When South Africa came in to bat, opener Herschelle Gibbs fired off a quick 38 runs, making mincemeat of the fast balls. He was bowled by Ben Hilfenhaus, bringing Jacques Kallis to the crease. But Kallis came and went so quickly, Hashim Amla was left wondering whether a batting collapse was on the cards. No doubt Ponting was hoping the same thing – that the Proteas would choke.

While skipper Ricky Ponting tried to rally his men on the field – it was Australia Day after all – (Ponting himself had put up a handy 63), the Proteas sniffed victory. . Once AB de Villiers got into the swing of things it was over. The de Villiers/Amla partnership put on a brilliant 144, the crucial partnership Ponting had needed.

AB de Villiers was man of the match; he also hit the winning runs to decide the series 3-1. AB de Villiers managed 82 not out, with Hashim Amla hot on his heels at 80 not out.

The last match in the series is on Friday, but holds little more than a play for pride for Australia.

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