Adelaide: Australia snapped a seven-game losing streak to beat South Africa by seven runs in the second ODI here, Friday, keeping the series alive and boosting their battered confidence.
Set 232 to win, the Proteas could only manage 224 for nine in their 50 overs, leaving the series tied at 1-1 with the decider in Hobart, Sunday. In fact, their last win came at the oval nine months ago against England.
Their form slump since had been characterised by batting collapses and they again struggled to compile a big total with some tight South African bowling putting them back in the pavilion for 231.
The visitors were reduced to 68/4 in side 15 overs which dented their hopes for a win. However, skipper Faf du Plessis (47, 65b, 3×4) and David Miller (51, 71b, 3×4, 1×6) steadied the ship with a 74-run fifth wicket stand.
But once Du Plessis departed, the target looked out of reach for the Proteas. But Miller’s presence was hunting Aussies in spite of getting wickets at the other end. Not for long though as Marcus Stoinis (3/35) got rid of Miller in the 44th over to reduce South Africa to 187/8. Lungi Ngidi (19 n o) and Imran Tahir (11 n o) tried their best to take SA home but failed to do so.
Earlier, some tight bowling from Kagiso Rabada (4/54), Dane Pretorious (3/32) and Dale Steyn (2/31) helped the visitors bowl Australia out for 231.
Alex Carey (47, 72b, 4×4), Chris Lynn (44, 44b, 3×4, 2×6) and skipper Aaron Finch (41, 63b, 4×4) got starts but couldn’t convert those into big ones. Wickets at regular intervals also held them back to reach a 250-run total.
Brief scores: Australia 231 (Alex Carey 47; Kagiso Rabada 4/54, Dane Pretorious 3/32) bt South Africa 224/9 (David Miller 51, Faf de Plessis 47; Marcus Stoinis 3/35) by 7 runs.