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.


Finch's century helps fire Australia to eight-wicket win over Pakistan

Updated 23 March 2019
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Finch's century helps fire Australia to eight-wicket win over Pakistan

SHARJAH: Aaron Finch's fine century drove Australia to a convincing eight-wicket win over a new-look Pakistan in the first one-day international on Friday.
The Austraian skipper scored 116 off 135 balls for his 12th one-day international century that helped his team overhaul the 281-run target in 49 overs on a flat Sharjah stadium pitch.
The win gives Australia the lead in the five-match series and has come on the back of their 3-2 series win in India earlier this month.
Finch's match-winning knock overshadowed Haris Sohail's maiden one-day hundred (101 not out) which helped Pakistan to 280-5 in their 50 overs.
The 32-year-old smashed Shoaib Malik for a huge six towards deep mid-wicket to complete his century -- his first since June last year against England at Chester-Le-Street -- off 120 balls.
Finch, who knocked four sixes and eight boundaries, added an innings-building 172 runs for the second wicket with Shaun Marsh who scored an unbeaten 91 off 102 balls with four boundaries and two sixes.
With 46 needed Finch became Mohammad Abbas's maiden wicket but Peter Handscomb hit 30 not out to help Marsh cross the line.
Finch and Marsh came together after opener Usman Khawaja fell for 24 to medium pacer Faheem Ashraf, the only other success Pakistan's new-look bowling attack could achieve.
Pakistan rested six of their key players including regular skipper Sarfraz Ahmed in order to keep them fresh for the World Cup starting in UK from May 30.
But the young and inexperienced Pakistan led by Malik proved no match for Australia, who are on a roll after their win in India earlier this month.
Left-hander Sohail, who reached 1,000 runs in his 27th one-day international when on 40, anchored Pakistan's innings, adding 98 for the third wicket with Umar Akmal who made a 50-ball 48 in his first international match for two years.
Sohail took a single to complete his hundred in the last over, finishing with six boundaries and a six.
Pakistan had handed one-day debuts to opener Shan Masood and Abbas -- who have played 15 and 14 Tests respectively.
Masood put on 35 in an opening stand with Imam-ul-Haq (17) before off-spinner Nathan Lyon dismissed Imam in the seventh over, caught and bowled.
Masood, who hit five boundaries in his 62-ball 40, was then bowled by paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile who finished with 1-38 in his 10 overs.
Umar smashed three sixes in one Jhye Richardson over but fell one short of his half century.
Malik fell for 11 and Ashraf and Imad Wasim scored 28 each.
Wasim hit four boundaries and a six during his 13-ball unbeaten knock, helping Pakistan to 55 runs in the last five overs.
Sunday's second ODI is also being played in Sharjah, with the third in Abu Dhabi (March 27) and the last two in Dubai (March 29 and 31).