South Africa v Australia, 4th ODI, Review: South Africa continue their dominance

South Africa v Australia, 4th ODI, Review: South Africa continue their dominance

Faf du Plessis
Proteas’ captain Faf du Plessis (L) and JP Duminy (R) compete during the fourth ODI between South Africa and Australia. (Photo by MICHAEL SHEEHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Hosts South Africa continued to subdue the weakened Australia after they registered a thumping 6 wicket win in the 4th ODI at the St. George Stadium, Port Elizabeth. The visitors, who have already lost the series 3-0, would have hoped for some turnaround in the remaining two games. But, unfortunately, that couldn’t happen.

Batting first, Steven Smith’s men were bowled out for just 167 after choosing to bat first. Kyle Abbott and Tabraiz Shamsi were the chief tormentors of the tourists. The pace-spin duo shared 7 wickets between them to rattle the Australians completely and deny them any chance to salvage any pride. Mitchell Marsh (50), Matthew Wade (52) and Chris Tremain (23) were the only batsmen who could play a meaningful role with the bat today.

For the first time this five-match ODI series, the bowlers were at the helm of the affairs and had something to look forward to as the pitch offered them some assistance. Fast bowler Kyle Abbott looked on fire today and cleaned up both the openers – David Warner and Aaron Finch – in quick successions. Abbott made Warner depart off the 3rd ball in the first over to give an early jolt and made things bit worrisome after he cleaned bowled Finch in the 3rd over.

Australia lost another key wicket when Dwaine Pretorious trapped George Bailey LBW for one in the following over. Steven Smith and Mitchell Marsh tried to bring stability but their efforts were ruined by chinaman Tabraiz Shamsi who landed a double blow in the 11th over removing skipper Smith and Travis Head in the space of the last three balls to leave the visitors staring down the barrel at 49 for 5.

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Mitchell Marsh and Matthew Wade provided the much-needed stability thereafter with a counter-attacking 62 run stand. Thanks to this sensible stand, Australia was able to past the 100 runs mark. However, the South Africa gained control over the proceedings yet again after Faf du Plessis brought back Abbott back into the attack.

The move paid off as the right arm fast bowler broke the partnership almost immediately getting Marsh caught behind just four balls after his re-introduction. He added another to his tally and to complete his four-wicket haul after cleaning up Adam Zampa. Wicket-keeper Matthew Wade kept the fight for Australia and completed a fine fifty. Chris Tremain played a commendable cameo with Wade and knitted a valuable 46 run partnership. However, Phangiso ensured a quick finish and picked up two wickets in the 37th over to fold up Australia for 167.

South Africa, in response, stuttered at the start after they also lost both their opener Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock for cheap scores. Chris Tremain continued to have a good day and accounted for both the dismissals. Amla, who was playing in the series for the first time, could survive only 8 balls and before getting trapped in front of the wicket in the 3rd over. While, De Kock, who is in stellar form, could not impress much and could contribute only 18 runs getting caught by Zampa at deep mid wicket.

Australia, unfortunately, were not able to take advantage of the early breakthrough. Skipper Faf du Plessis stood tall and hit a sensible knock of 69 from 87 balls to lead the chasing effort. He firstly combined with JP Duminy and piloted the chase with 56 runs stand for the 3rd wicket. The partnership was brought to an end when Duminy lost his wicket to leg-spinner Adam Zampa in the 20th over. Duminy’s departure kept the Australian hopes flickering.

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However, Du Plessis and Rilee Rossouw, who was playing in the lower order for the first time in the series, then knitted another 55 run stand to throw Australia out the contest and set the stage for the win. Unfortunately, Du Plessis could save his wicket to see hit the winnings runs. But Rossouw and Behardien ensured that there were now unnecessary twists and finished the chase in the 36th over with six wickets in hand.

Brief Scores:

Australia: 167 all out in 36.4 overs (Mathew Wade 52; Kyle Abbott 4/40)

South Africa: 168/4 in 35.3 overs (Faf du Plessis 69; Chris Tremain 2/48)

Man of the Match: Kyle Abbott