Pad up with ODI cricket tips as Australia look to avoid an ignominious cleansweep at the hands of a rejuvenated South Africa.
19:00 (AEDT), Sat 7th Mar @ Senwes Park, Potchefstrom
History: Played 102: South Africa 50 V Australia 48 (3 Ties, 1 No Result)
Last meeting: March 4, 2020: South Africa d Australia by 6 wickets at Mangaung Oval
Final Thoughts: Australia are attempting to save some face in the third and final one-dayer in South Africa.
After comprehensive T20I series loss, South Africa threw the formguide out the window with a 74-run thrashing of their archrivals in the ODI opener.
Starting poorly, the Proteas powered to 7/291 on the back of Heinrich Klaasen’s brilliant 123 not out of 114 balls. Kyle Verreynne (48 off 64) and David Miller (64 off 70) played fine support roles. Pat Cummins (3/45) was the clear standout in the Australian attack.
An 84-run partnership between Steve Smith (76 off 94) and Marnus Labuschagne (41 off 51) had Australia’s chase in good stead. But the middle- and lower-order failed miserably as the tourists crumbled to 217 all out in the 46th over. Lungi Ngidi (3/30) and Tabraiz Shamsi (2/45) were superb with the ball for South Africa.
South Africa were arguably even more impressive in game two. D’Arcy Short and Aaron Finch both top-scored with 69 but Australia finished on an under-par 271 after a brilliant 6/58 from Ngidi.
Jannerman Malan – who was out for a golden duck on debut in the opener – steered the hosts to victory with a magnificent 129 not out. JJ Smuts (41), Heinrich Klaasen (51) and David Miller (37*) played fine support roles in the six-wicket success.
Mitchell Starc is heading home to watch wife Alyssa Healy play in the Women’s T20 World Cup final. Josh Hazlewood and Kane Richardson are the frame to replace the pace spearhead, though both could be included at the expense of Ashton Agar. With the series wrapped up, South Africa could give a couple of unused squad members a run.
Aussies buried under Proteas bogey
South Africa have dominated ODI competition between the archrivals in recent years. Australia have won just one of their last 11 one-dayers against the Proteas.
South Africa swept the last home series 5-0 in 2016 and claimed a 2-1 triumph in Australia in late-2018. They also snatched a shock 10-run win in Manchester in July – the highlight of a dismal World Cup campaign.
Given the teams’ respective performances so far, South Africa are tantalising value as $2.61 underdogs. A key feature of the series has been the Proteas’ ability to win without relying so heavily on skipper Quinton de Kock.
But after missing out so far with scores of 15 and 2, the dynamic opener – who has 15 ODI centuries to his name – will be eager to finish with a flourish.