David Miller, Faf du Plessis plunder tons as blistering South Africa beat Australia

South Africa's Dale Steyn celebrates dismissing Australia's Alex Carey during the third one-day cricket international at Bellerive Oval in Hobart. (Reuters)
Updated 11 November 2018
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David Miller, Faf du Plessis plunder tons as blistering South Africa beat Australia

HOBART: David Miller and Faf du Plessis plundered big-hitting centuries in a batting masterclass as South Africa beat Australia by 40 runs to win their one-day series and inflict another defeat on Justin Langer’s misfiring side.
The pair shared in a 252-run stand to power the Proteas to 320-5 in the third and final match in Hobart — a record fourth wicket partnership by South Africa against the hosts in Australia.
They came together at 55-3 in the 16th over with Miller swatting 139 for his fifth limited-overs century and skipper du Plessis smashing 125 — his 10th one-day ton.
A composed Shaun Marsh cracked a fighting 106 in the run chase, ably supported by Marcus Stoinis (63) and Alex Carey (42) — an improvement on recent batting displays but still not good enough.
Pace spearheads Kagiso Rabada and Dale Steyn both took three wickets in controlled and disciplined spells.
The victory handed South Africa their first ODI series win in Australia since 2009 and left Australia with plenty to ponder ahead of India’s arrival this month for a three-format tour.
“I thought we played our best game of cricket (of the tour),” said du Plessis after clinching the series 2-1.
“We challenged ourselves to put in a performance. From a batting point of view we were good, but from a bowling point of view we were excellent.”
Australian captain Aaron Finch praised the partnership between Marsh and Stoinis, but admitted the South African attack was too hot to handle.
“They bowled exceptionally well at the end, credit to them in the last 10 overs,” he said.
“After 35 overs we were in a great position but they took it away at the end.”
Both sides opted for unchanged line-ups after Australia snapped a seven-game losing streak to clinch the second match in Adelaide on Friday by seven runs. South Africa easily won the first in Perth by six wickets.
After winning the toss and putting the visitors into bat, Australia got a dream start with Quinton de Kock out in the third over.
Mitchell Starc did the damage, bowling a perfect line and length, with de Kock getting a tickle on the ball and wicketkeeper Carey taking the catch.
Aiden Markram smashed three sixes, including one huge blow off Marcus Stoinis that went out of the ground and down the street, with a new ball needed, on his way to 32.
But as he looked set for a big score, he flicked a Starc delivery down leg side to Carey, leaving South Africa struggling.
Then hard-hitting Miller joined skipper du Plessis and the scoreboard began racing along.
Du Plessis was dropped on 29 and Miller escaped an lbw dismissal on 41 that was overturned on review.
They made the most of their second lives and began swinging their bats as du Plessis reached his century in 105 balls with 11 fours and one six before falling to Stoinis going for another big hit at the death.
Miller made the landmark in 95 balls, including eight fours and two sixes, and was finally caught at deep midwicket off Josh Hazlewood in the last over.
Australia experimented with Chris Lynn as opener for the run chase, but it spectacularly backfired when Steyn snared him for a golden duck.
Australia’s woes were compounded when Aaron Finch soon followed him back to the pavillon.
It was down to Marsh and Stoinis to open their shoulders and look for boundaries. They put on an impressive 107 before Stoinis was caught at backward point.
Carey supported Marsh as he made his sixth one-day ton in 98 balls, with six fours and four sixes, before he was caught at deep midwicket and hope began to evaporate.


New Zealand’s Crusaders lose for the first time since mosque shootings

Updated 24 March 2019
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New Zealand’s Crusaders lose for the first time since mosque shootings

  • The Christchurch-based Crusaders saw their year-long, 19-game winning streak ended in Sydney by the New South Wales Waratahs
  • The Crusaders have been asked by fans to change their name following last week's terror mosques attack that killed at least 50 worshippers

PRETORIA, South Africa: The Crusaders lost for the first time this season and the Chiefs won for the first time, shaking up Super Rugby at the top and the bottom of the standings on Saturday.
In their first game since the mosque shootings in their home city eight days earlier, the Christchurch-based Crusaders saw their year-long, 19-game winning streak ended in Sydney by the New South Wales Waratahs.
Wallabies fullback Israel Folau sealed the Waratahs’ 20-12 win and equaled Doug Howlett’s record of 59 Super Rugby tries when he followed up on a high kick and reacted quickest to score the home team’s third try in the 73rd minute. The Waratahs led 15-7 for most of the second half before Folau ensured there was no way back for the Crusaders.
The two-time defending champions’ first loss in a year was followed by another serious surprise in round six when the Hamilton-based Chiefs, winless and bottom of the overall standings, upset the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.
The Chiefs didn’t just win. They hammered the Bulls 56-20 and seven tries to two. There were doubles by winger Solomon Alaimalo, center Alex Nankivell, and captain Brodie Retallick as the Chiefs, who once lost a Super Rugby final 61-17 at Loftus, produced a spectacular turnaround in form.
The Crusaders’ loss meant the Hurricanes drew level with them on points at the top of the New Zealand conference. The Lions, the losing finalists the last three years, moved a point behind the Crusaders in the overall standings after beating the Sunwolves in Singapore.
The Sunwolves were on the board first in that game through a penalty try which saw Lions wing Sylvian Mahuza yellow-carded for a deliberate knock down.
The Lions were inspired by hooker Malcolm Marx, who scored two tries and came up with numerous crucial turnovers in the 37-24 win. That capped a miserable couple of days for the Tokyo-based Sunwolves, who learned on Friday they would be cut from Super Rugby at the end of next season.
Also, the Hurricanes beat the Stormers 34-28, and the Sharks beat Melbourne Rebels 28-14 to both gain ground.
The Waratahs made a fast start against the Crusaders, scoring tries through lock Jeb Holloway and wing Cameron Clark to lead 12-0 after as many minutes. They then kept steady defensive pressure on the Crusaders who made an uncharacteristic 18 handling errors.
The Waratahs were able to pin the Crusaders within their half and those errors cost the champions their usual continuity.
“Looking up at the board I see we had 46 percent of possession so we’re building wins off defense,” Waratahs captain Michael Hooper said. “I’m really happy that we were able to get tries when we can and then were able to build a big wall to stop these guys.”
The Crusaders were playing their first game in two weeks after last weekend’s scheduled fixture against the Highlanders was canceled in the wake of the shootings at two mosques in Christchurch which left 50 dead. On Saturday at the Sydney Cricket Ground, the Crusaders and Waratahs players stood together silently before the game, arm in arm, to remember the victims.
Winger Wes Goosen scored two second-half tries and Beauden Barrett contributed 14 points as the Hurricanes rallied to beat the Stormers 34-28.
The match presented a stark contrast in styles between the Hurricanes, who lacked a reliable set-piece and tried to play the game at pace, and the Stormers, who sought to slow play and control possession through a powerful forward pack.
The Hurricanes finally emerged on top, snatching the lead with a try to Barrett 10 minutes from fulltime and outscoring the Stormers by five tries to three. The lead changed hands five times in a close match in which neither side managed to exert complete control.
“From the outcome point of view it was good, we were certainly after that win,” Barrett said. “But there were moments there where we were frustrated.”