South Africa v Australia, 3rd ODI, Durban October 28, 2011

Nerveless Hussey makes series Australia's

48

Australia 227 for 7 (Watson 49, Hussey 45*, Kallis 2-17, Duminy 2-29) beat South Africa 222 for 6 (Kallis 54, Amla 53, Doherty 2-34, Johnson 2-37) by 3 wickets
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Australia's batsmen held their nerve to secure a 2-1 ODI series victory over South Africa in a slogging contest in Durban, taking valuable momentum into next month's Test matches in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

The predicted rain never arrived as Michael Hussey guided his side home in the company of a wide-eyed Pat Cummins with 15 balls to spare, after the captain Michael Clarke, the recalled Shaun Marsh and the wicketkeeper Brad Haddin had all contributed cameos. Hussey rounded it off with a crisply pulled six, immediately embracing Cummins in what was a valuable early experience for the 18-year-old.

Shane Watson had made a crucially belligerent contribution at the top of the order for the tourists on a slow pitch, crashing one six in his 49, a useful tally to add to his tidy bowling after recovering from the back spasms that dogged him in the second match.

Spin bowlers Johan Botha and JP Duminy posed the greatest threat among South Africa's bowlers, gaining some turn, but Morne Morkel and Lonwabo Tsotsobe were expensive with few runs to defend, and Jacques Kallis was used sparingly ahead of the Tests.

Kallis and Hashim Amla earlier posted half-centuries for the hosts but the acceleration expected from the halfway point of 114 for 1 never quite eventuated as Australia's bowlers showed tremendous discipline once the shine was gone from the ball to hold the total to 222 for 6. Xavier Doherty's spin was particularly difficult to dig out, and Watson resumed bowling after back spasms in the second match at St George's Park to concede just one run from the 46th over.

Cummins regained his control impressively once his first over went for 16 runs, while Doug Bollinger and Mitchell Johnson also bowled with considerable diligence.

When the tourists chased, David Warner finished his series with an unsatisfying stroke, caught behind while trying to leave a delivery from Morkel, who was expensive despite the wicket. Watson was responsible for most of the damage, helping to take Morkel for 20 from the ninth over of the innings, including one mighty blow over long off.

However he was the next man to go, dragging Kallis onto the stumps while trying to glide the ball to third man. Ricky Ponting had made only 10 when he pushed a catch back to the tidy Botha next over, before Clarke and Marsh steadied the innings.

Both played neatly but both would be dismissed with the game still in doubt, Clarke bowled between bat and pad as he advanced to Duminy's first delivery, while Marsh also had his stumps disturbed by Duminy as he made room to push through the offside. Haddin joined Hussey with 67 still to get yet, thanks to Watson's earlier hitting, plenty of deliveries in which to collect them. They took their time against some searching stuff from the hosts, before Haddin unfurled a series of regal strikes to rapidly close in on the target.

A slice to deep point ended Haddin's stay, and Johnson edged behind with 10 still required, but Hussey was on hand to complete the task in the company of Cummins, who struck the boundary off Kallis that relieved the last of the tension.

Amla had chosen to bat first after the hosts named an unchanged team for the third consecutive match, leaving the legspinner Imran Tahir on the sidelines under heavily overcast skies that appeared heavy with potential rain.

Australian retained the allrounder and vice-captain Watson following his back trouble, but dropped another allrounder in Steve Smith to make room for the return of Marsh. Marsh batted in the middle order, allowing Warner to continue his good form at the top of the order in partnership with Watson.

Amla took a liking to Cummins in his first over, punching two boundaries through cover then cutting when the teenager tried to counter with shorter stuff and finally flicking through midwicket when a further over-correction delivered a ball on leg stump.

This early flurry was not indicative of much that followed however, as Bollinger and Johnson in particular delivered handy spells, Johnson striking Amla on the helmet in an echo of his hostile 2009 efforts. Despite the overhead conditions, it was the spin of Doherty that broke through, Graeme Smith sweeping uppishly for Hussey to take an agile catch, diving forward.

Amla and Kallis batted in plenty of comfort and it came as a surprise when the captain was run out, too slow to reach the striker's end after chancing a single to the strong arm of Cummins at short third man. Like Smith, Kallis also miscalculated on the sweep against Doherty to make only one more run than Amla, while Faf du Plessis and JP Duminy perished in vain attempts to lift the scoring rate against parsimonious bowling and an alert fielding unit.

Watson's ninth over, the 46th of the innings, was on course to be a maiden until a single from scampered from the final ball, a becalmed David Miller unable to repeat the free-scoring he had managed in Port Elizabeth.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Meety on October 31, 2011, 18:37 GMT

    @hyclass - "The tour ended with 4 international matches all." - apart from our T20 side being an offshoot of the main squad, the ODI series was won 3-1, as the last match was a dead rubber, & in the tests we ended up being in the dominate position in all 3 matches. I wouldn't say we "should" of won the other 2 test matches as even chasing small totals can be difficult, but we showed we were stronger. I don't think there was much point in scoring it 4all! I know most SL fans wouldn't be calling it a draw!

  • hyclass on October 31, 2011, 15:04 GMT

    Interesting to see the difference in Warner & Marsh when the ball is bouncing & the attack above club standard as it was in SL-a fact Pakistan are continuing to drive home in their current series.Warner has 104 runs from 5 innings at 20 in SA.Marsh crawled to 30 & has continued his run of injuries.I made a point some time ago,that both these players have had all their limited success on flat tracks against modest attacks.Players records exist to demonstrate their abilities under ALL conditions-not just one set.Thats why 1st class records & results volumes over time are so valuable in forming judgements.As for Australias Test standing,they won only one of the 3 Tests in SL on a diabolical pitch.The tour ended with 4 international matches all.The SA squad was selected by the outgoing Hilditch whose credibility ironically,lies in ashes.Until the new coach & support teams are in place,principles will continue to reflect those repudiated by Argus.Ultimately Clarke deserves utmost admiration

  • Naresh28 on October 31, 2011, 9:03 GMT

    Making Amla captain is a mistake that needs redressing. Amla does not make a good captain - he is soft spoken. However it is best that he is given a longer reign. Kalis would make a better captain.

  • Pickwick on October 31, 2011, 1:12 GMT

    Aussies staying on top of one-day cricket...not bad given all the lost personnel...

  • on October 29, 2011, 21:21 GMT

    Awesome hitting by Watson and Husey for being man of the match!! Xcited to see the test Serise...

  • ashes61 on October 29, 2011, 19:11 GMT

    Now for the real thing, but only TWO Tests between two traditionally strong sides is just plain silly. As a Pom, I haven't caught much of the pyjama stuff on TV but will try to watch some of the Tests when I can. On paper - and being at home - SA really should be too strong. On the other hand, the lengthy break SA have had is quite long these days for international cricket, & they won't want to be rusty in such a short series. If their big guns - Kallis, Smith, Amla & Steyn, etc - fire, they should win. It only take one disastrous session against Steyn to lose a Test. Again, there are signs of AUS just beginning to climb out of their deep abyss - albeit mostly via the old hands, which doesn't augur well. Still, their ODI form has held up generally this year anyway, and perhaps there is a freshness in the squad under Clarke. In conditions not too foreign to them, they may just catch SA cold. Even so, the gulf between AUS & ENG in Tests will be apparent for some years to come.

  • Cpt.Meanster on October 29, 2011, 18:48 GMT

    Australia have an awesome record in SA. This series only adds one more up for them against the Proteas. The conditions are very much like back in Australia and with a youngish team, Clarke could only take the team up. In the one day arena, Australia are still very strong. It's no fluke to stay no.1 in ODIs for almost a decade. It takes a lot of hard work, training and perseverance. I for one would like to see a strong Australia back in all formats of the game. It's a shame this series is short. Everyone keeps talking about the Ashes, but this series too has a lot of potential to become an iconic clash. India vs Pakistan, Australia v India, SA vs Australia are all iconic series. I hope the ICC does something with regards to this. Enough with all the meaningless ODIs and T20s.

  • on October 29, 2011, 17:22 GMT

    Awesome hitting by Watson and Husey for being man of the match!!

  • popcorn on October 29, 2011, 15:45 GMT

    What a classic! Michael Clarke and his young Team showed how not to get fazed by losing the Toss on a good batting wicket - where the STANDARD FARE would be a HUGE TOTAL, Teams batting first won 70% of the time. Clarke was tactically brilliant,Aussie Bowlers showed how to strangulate the batsmen, assisted by brilliant fielded placements and fielding.And how in a run chase, the initial explosive hitting by Shane Watson, kept Australia ALWAYS ahead of the eight ball,and finally the Finisher - cool,calm, collected Michel Hussey, who assessed the situation so well,and took Australia home.Oh,and even a low total seemed tough in the middle.Who says ODI Cricket is boring in the middle overs? Congratulations, Australia. Michael Clarke has won EVERY Series he has led - starting with the ODI Series against England early this year,then Bangla Desh,Sri Lanka - ODIs and Tests,and now the ODI Series against South Africa. I can see we're getting back to ur supremacy - Number One in Tests AND ODIs.

  • on October 29, 2011, 15:36 GMT

    Hussey is a boon to the Australian cricket side. One can't count the no.of times he has taken Australia past the finish line with him at the crease. He is an absolute legend and genius.

  • Meety on October 31, 2011, 18:37 GMT

    @hyclass - "The tour ended with 4 international matches all." - apart from our T20 side being an offshoot of the main squad, the ODI series was won 3-1, as the last match was a dead rubber, & in the tests we ended up being in the dominate position in all 3 matches. I wouldn't say we "should" of won the other 2 test matches as even chasing small totals can be difficult, but we showed we were stronger. I don't think there was much point in scoring it 4all! I know most SL fans wouldn't be calling it a draw!

  • hyclass on October 31, 2011, 15:04 GMT

    Interesting to see the difference in Warner & Marsh when the ball is bouncing & the attack above club standard as it was in SL-a fact Pakistan are continuing to drive home in their current series.Warner has 104 runs from 5 innings at 20 in SA.Marsh crawled to 30 & has continued his run of injuries.I made a point some time ago,that both these players have had all their limited success on flat tracks against modest attacks.Players records exist to demonstrate their abilities under ALL conditions-not just one set.Thats why 1st class records & results volumes over time are so valuable in forming judgements.As for Australias Test standing,they won only one of the 3 Tests in SL on a diabolical pitch.The tour ended with 4 international matches all.The SA squad was selected by the outgoing Hilditch whose credibility ironically,lies in ashes.Until the new coach & support teams are in place,principles will continue to reflect those repudiated by Argus.Ultimately Clarke deserves utmost admiration

  • Naresh28 on October 31, 2011, 9:03 GMT

    Making Amla captain is a mistake that needs redressing. Amla does not make a good captain - he is soft spoken. However it is best that he is given a longer reign. Kalis would make a better captain.

  • Pickwick on October 31, 2011, 1:12 GMT

    Aussies staying on top of one-day cricket...not bad given all the lost personnel...

  • on October 29, 2011, 21:21 GMT

    Awesome hitting by Watson and Husey for being man of the match!! Xcited to see the test Serise...

  • ashes61 on October 29, 2011, 19:11 GMT

    Now for the real thing, but only TWO Tests between two traditionally strong sides is just plain silly. As a Pom, I haven't caught much of the pyjama stuff on TV but will try to watch some of the Tests when I can. On paper - and being at home - SA really should be too strong. On the other hand, the lengthy break SA have had is quite long these days for international cricket, & they won't want to be rusty in such a short series. If their big guns - Kallis, Smith, Amla & Steyn, etc - fire, they should win. It only take one disastrous session against Steyn to lose a Test. Again, there are signs of AUS just beginning to climb out of their deep abyss - albeit mostly via the old hands, which doesn't augur well. Still, their ODI form has held up generally this year anyway, and perhaps there is a freshness in the squad under Clarke. In conditions not too foreign to them, they may just catch SA cold. Even so, the gulf between AUS & ENG in Tests will be apparent for some years to come.

  • Cpt.Meanster on October 29, 2011, 18:48 GMT

    Australia have an awesome record in SA. This series only adds one more up for them against the Proteas. The conditions are very much like back in Australia and with a youngish team, Clarke could only take the team up. In the one day arena, Australia are still very strong. It's no fluke to stay no.1 in ODIs for almost a decade. It takes a lot of hard work, training and perseverance. I for one would like to see a strong Australia back in all formats of the game. It's a shame this series is short. Everyone keeps talking about the Ashes, but this series too has a lot of potential to become an iconic clash. India vs Pakistan, Australia v India, SA vs Australia are all iconic series. I hope the ICC does something with regards to this. Enough with all the meaningless ODIs and T20s.

  • on October 29, 2011, 17:22 GMT

    Awesome hitting by Watson and Husey for being man of the match!!

  • popcorn on October 29, 2011, 15:45 GMT

    What a classic! Michael Clarke and his young Team showed how not to get fazed by losing the Toss on a good batting wicket - where the STANDARD FARE would be a HUGE TOTAL, Teams batting first won 70% of the time. Clarke was tactically brilliant,Aussie Bowlers showed how to strangulate the batsmen, assisted by brilliant fielded placements and fielding.And how in a run chase, the initial explosive hitting by Shane Watson, kept Australia ALWAYS ahead of the eight ball,and finally the Finisher - cool,calm, collected Michel Hussey, who assessed the situation so well,and took Australia home.Oh,and even a low total seemed tough in the middle.Who says ODI Cricket is boring in the middle overs? Congratulations, Australia. Michael Clarke has won EVERY Series he has led - starting with the ODI Series against England early this year,then Bangla Desh,Sri Lanka - ODIs and Tests,and now the ODI Series against South Africa. I can see we're getting back to ur supremacy - Number One in Tests AND ODIs.

  • on October 29, 2011, 15:36 GMT

    Hussey is a boon to the Australian cricket side. One can't count the no.of times he has taken Australia past the finish line with him at the crease. He is an absolute legend and genius.

  • on October 29, 2011, 14:38 GMT

    Winning against SA in SA is not a major task for Oz. The conditions in SA are better suited for Australians, they won every possible series in SA, World Cup, Champions Trophy, IPL (at the courtesy of Gilly, Symonds, Harris)........

    I never even follow India/World cup/Ashes matches, but ever missed a single ball between these two teams (whether test/odi/T20). I had a major complaint in cricket about HOME ADVANTAGE and TOSS. But we never come across those complaints when these two clashes against each other in a Bilateral series. Really unhappy with this short series, hope ICC will intervene to find a solution to accommodate full tour in FTP.

  • karl43 on October 29, 2011, 14:35 GMT

    I don't think it has helped south africa to have had such a big gap since their last international and australia are already a well oiled machine having already done well recently in sri lanka and have hit the ground running. South Africa will improve but they have to improve quickly.

  • on October 29, 2011, 12:15 GMT

    south africa really struggled to clear the boundary and they did not posted a modest total to defend

  • JG2704 on October 29, 2011, 11:28 GMT

    As for Australia - well they may look weak on paper but in the OD format they still seem to excel. Having Mike Hussey coming in at 6 must be a huge boost. Re their bowlers , I tend to find Johnson very hit and miss. Vs England he has been both exceptional and woeful at times. The test series is set up nicely. As an Englishman I have mixed views as Aus are historically our biggest rivals and we have had some very ungracious comms from a few Aus fans recently , but having said that SA are the closest team to us in the rankings and although England has it in their own hands to regain the no 1 ranking should SA win the series convincingly , it would be nice to go into that series next year still ranked number 1. Obviously we have to perform ourselves in the meantime.

  • JG2704 on October 29, 2011, 11:21 GMT

    Re SA - I was surprised they didn't manage 250 as when I left to go out for a bit they were very handily placed with only 3 wickets down and 6 an over would have got them there or thereabouts. I was even more surprised as I thought tht they were below the projected score because they were all out but they only lost 3 further wickets. Obviously credit must go to the Oz bowlers but I look at the scorecard and Miller is not out (11 off 22) SR50. SR of 50 at any point in OD inns is poor but at the end of an inns is awful , esp from a batsman.JPD also has a trait I notice of accelerating his SR after he has been in some time which is all well and good when you stay there but if you get out after about 50-60 balls you have dragged the run rate down.The highest SR of any top.middle order SA batsman was 75 which is not great at all. I think they miss ABDV big time And the commentators in another match were critical of the non inclusion of in form Rudolph. Seems SA selectors know best

  • jonesy2 on October 29, 2011, 8:33 GMT

    mitchell johnson is going to dominate in this test series. he was so tight and economical got crucial wickets as he always does in ODI cricket. hussey is a ridiculous man. yet again australia show they are the greatest and cant be touched. handing out lessons as they go

  • ravi_hari on October 29, 2011, 8:29 GMT

    Fitting finale! I think both the teams comepted and the best team on the day won. Its great to see such series when both the teams vie for the honours. Unlike the India-England twin series where only one team performed, this series right from the start has been very interesting. With two test coming up it really is hotting up. If the tests are also split, this would be one of the best played series ever, with no one dominating fully. I think top teams should perform like that. Individually, Amla would be more happier than Clarke as he had to step in at the last moment but did a commendable job in fighting to the end. Clarke should be releived that he is winning the seond consecutive ODI series as captain. If he manages to win the test series also it would be a great start to his captaincy career, winning back-to-back overseas test series. Aussies need to plug some leaks before they can say thay are back on track. Bowling looks inconsistant and fitness of a few players is in doubt. Ravi

  • aby_prasad on October 29, 2011, 8:24 GMT

    This could be the beginning of how Aus could claw its way back to the top of both odi and tests! Its strange but always, to become no.1 the benchmark was to beat South Africa in South Africa. From then on, the team doing so goes on to do great things! Even if we beat Aus (evn if they are no.1) ocassionally or India or England, that never was a benchmark, i mean the team beating a strong Aus side would still falter. but to beat a south african team, woo, takes some doing.

  • I-have-Steyns-autograph on October 29, 2011, 8:07 GMT

    can we be rid of those du plessis and miller muppets now? when are they going to make some kind of contribution? obviously AB will help a great deal, but rudolph and albie morkel MUST be in the side! drop smith too. he looks woeful.

    rudolph, amla, kallis, ab, duminy, albie, boucher, botha, steyn, morne, tahir

  • Winsome on October 29, 2011, 8:06 GMT

    Brewer74, it depends what you want from a game. I want a good competition and a tight match, so low, slow wickets are fine with me. Anytime spin bowlers are hard to get away adds so much to the tension. It was an excellent end to the series. I suspect both teams have batting problems. Shaun Marsh has got out the same way three times since arriving in SA, I don't know what his obsession is with exposing his stumps he is so much better than that. And Duminy seems to go into his shell in a way you just don't expect. I can understand why Clarke is not happy, the batting performances haven't really been up to scratch. That chase of a big score in the second match was pretty diabolical all round. But on the other hand, it was an excellent series and leaves a lot of hope for a good TWO match test series.

  • on October 29, 2011, 6:53 GMT

    Australia always bettered South Africa in Proteas own back yard.South Africans yet to beat the Aussies in the Test series in their den and with thus ODI series victory Australians confidence will be sky high on the upcoming Test series against World No 2 Side

  • sweetspot on October 29, 2011, 6:49 GMT

    Hussey is the quintessential quiet, all conquering hero! I couldn't admire him more! So much more because he plays for Chennai too! What a player! Huss, you're special, Mate! How cool for young Cummins to have him at the other end when Australia won!

  • sweetspot on October 29, 2011, 6:47 GMT

    Oh, come on SA! The pitch was hard to whack on all right, and it is easy to comment from the subcontinent, but where was the INTENT? Kudos to Australia for bowling nice and tight, but SA? From somewhere, SA needs to find some counterattacking batting in tight situations. RR 4.35 for most of the innings? That's hardly going to threaten the team batting second. A couple of blows didn't connect, to be fair, but way too many dots and hard hands contributed to SA going down.

  • JB77 on October 29, 2011, 6:44 GMT

    @ Wessels Van Vuuren....Worst Australian team ever? Australia may not be the force it used to be but it's far from terrible. Plus we've never had anyone called 'Faf' in OUR team. Faf....seriously? It sounds like a verb describing something best not talked about.

  • hris on October 29, 2011, 6:41 GMT

    ahh where would we be without huss.

  • Gupta.Ankur on October 29, 2011, 6:36 GMT

    I think its about time that Smith and Ponting are left out of all 3 forms of cricket as they have become more of tourists than assets......

  • on October 29, 2011, 5:47 GMT

    While the Aus bowling was tight, SA batting lacked innovation in 36-40 powerplay and later as well. SA needs someone of Lance Kluesner type bludgeoner. Old school 1980s - 1990s type of play will leave teams short by 20 and will be tough to defend.

  • Meety on October 29, 2011, 5:21 GMT

    @Brewer74 - I don't have a problem with slower pitches in ODIs - SOMETIMES. To me, some of the best ODI games ever, have been where scores around 200 were "par". Whatever the reasons, the Saffas were about 20 runs too short last night. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind the odd game where 350 is not safe. On the other hand the occasional 150 run grind is tense as well.

  • Marcio on October 29, 2011, 5:20 GMT

    @Facebook, my friend, you said "Worst Aussie team to ever tour SA and we lose to them". If you look a little closer this is quite a decent ODI team. It's very well balanced. Any team with Warner, Watson, Ponting (albeit in decline), and an on-fire M Hussey is hardly terrible. These are all world class players who can take a game away from you in a few overs. Most of the rest are pretty handy too, although there are one or two shortcomings, such as the enigmatic Johnson. Clarke is a smart leader too, and an excellent 50-over bat himself, nicely complimenting the explosive openers. So that's why they are still ranked #1. The main thing though is that they played really well as a team last night. There's really good team spirit there.

  • RandyOZ on October 29, 2011, 4:24 GMT

    Seriously did anyone watch this. Our bowling was as tight as I've seen it in a long time. Huss is an absolute star. England must be really worried!

  • MHJohn on October 29, 2011, 3:27 GMT

    Lot of things to think for both team,hopes they will take required action.But realy dont understand the role of JP Duminy in that batting order.last few matches it was seen that he played like this way.this is not only dangerous or him but also for the full team.he disturbed the full momentum of the SA innings....................

  • on October 29, 2011, 3:21 GMT

    Great Series.............getting remember the last series between these two. Cangratulations to Pup for his 3 successive 3 series wins. Mr. Cricket has done it again!!!!!!!!! Also fine contribution from Watson at the top & run a ball hitting by Haddin at the tale..........Go Aussies Go...........!!!!!!!!!!!

  • sidzy on October 29, 2011, 3:08 GMT

    What a Victory aus down & out come back to win. marvelous captioncy from pup.

  • samincolumbia on October 29, 2011, 2:51 GMT

    Ponting trying very hard to catch upto Tendulkar...that seems to be his only goal these days!! What a dead weight.

  • SnowSnake on October 29, 2011, 1:17 GMT

    My read of this game was that it was very close and test match skills were required to save this game for Australia. Hussey is a great test player and played well. However, I am disappointed in Ponting. I had high expectations fro him and now I just don't see any come back from Ponting. Also, Dale Steyn speed has dropped and now he appears to be more of a fast-medium bowler. I am more inclined to think that Morkel is a better bowler than Steyn.

  • chad_reid on October 29, 2011, 0:58 GMT

    Australia 3/3 away wins thats why they are the best team in the world and also MC is an excellent captain shud have made him captain much much earlier.

  • jubster09 on October 29, 2011, 0:31 GMT

    I agree with Athrylith regarding SA coming into this series off the back of a break, but you'd think that a SA v AUS encounter would warrant at least some kind pre-series warm-ups. Although I'm not worried about Duminy, I'm yet to be convinced with Du Plessis and Miller. Granted both have made waves at domestic level and I hope they can start producing the performances we know they are capable of. The middle order uncertainty isn't helped with us sticking with Smith who hasn't looked comfortable for quite a while now. Maybe he should have a stint playing for his province to get back to his belligerent best and we can try another option at the top of the order to get things ticking. Imran Tahir is another concern. Why oh why have we been so reluctant to give him more regular game time? An attacking spinner playing for SA! It's all well and good have a plethora of containing spinners, but sometimes a game needs more than containment to get the victory. I'm sure Gary has it under control!

  • maddinson on October 29, 2011, 0:06 GMT

    SA were still not able to beat this Australian team. Hopefully Steve Smith played one last time for Australia in 2nd ODI

  • on October 28, 2011, 23:57 GMT

    Worst Aussie team to ever tour SA and we lose to them...some things never change. Hopefully Amla resigns the vice-captaincy, simply not cut out for the job. He should stick to staying the best batsman in the team. Rather just make Smith captain, if he is going to play anyway he might as well captain. Last thing we can afford is for AB and Hashim to lose batting form over it.

  • smudgeon on October 28, 2011, 23:22 GMT

    I agree about Tahir, Athrylith. The world cup really favoured spinners (even Balaji Rao got amongst it) but Tahir still took 14 wickets in 5 matches, which is hard to ignore. Perhaps Botha has the edge for his handy batting? I think Tahir could really provide a surprise weapon for the Saffas, it's probably been a while since Australia had to bat against against a quality, attacking leggie.

  • on October 28, 2011, 23:17 GMT

    Oh.. was it the first time SA lost in a finals ...

  • samincolumbia on October 28, 2011, 23:05 GMT

    The over rated South african team cannot win either at home or abroad...Even when a win is within the grasp, they choke and fall apart!!

  • Brewer74 on October 28, 2011, 22:31 GMT

    Is it just me or is there a lot of these slow pitches around at the moment? It makes for a fairly dull game to be honest, at least in that midddle period. Good work by AUS though, should build good momentum going into the tests. Glad wayward son (Johnson) found some rythym and didnt spray too much, bodes well.

  • katwash on October 28, 2011, 22:21 GMT

    @Marcio, your comments were spot on, could not agree more. What made me smile was your last few lines, pure gold.

  • Athrylith on October 28, 2011, 21:25 GMT

    I think it is too early to judge anything considering South Africa are coming from a long break. However, I think there is a big question mark that hangs over Miller. Duminy and Duplessis are also a worry but they have shown promise. I would rather give Albie Morkel a chance. Somehow, I feel he is better equipped than Miller to take it to the bowlers. Why is there no Imran Tahir is still a mystery to me. Yes, Botha is doing well but we need an attacking option. Botha tends to hold well. When AB comes back, batting order balance will be restored. All in all, excited to see how things go for the Saffers in the next year or so ...

  • indianzen on October 28, 2011, 21:22 GMT

    Watson made the difference really, Smith was unable to get the flying start he usually does...

  • on October 28, 2011, 20:19 GMT

    Australia is the best....Proteas will always be second best when it comes to the Aussies.....

  • Marcio on October 28, 2011, 20:18 GMT

    As I predicted, AUS did well in the last game. These two teams are evenly matched, but AUS have a much better overall ODI record. So much for those who believed that Australia's worst performance (last game) was their true form. One poor game does not define a team. Long term success is a much better guide to predicting outcomes. So, @Aussassinator, is this last result a "true indication of the difference between the teams" as you wrote after the last game? LOL. Looks like you'll have to wait till the next Aussie loss before commenting again.

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  • Marcio on October 28, 2011, 20:18 GMT

    As I predicted, AUS did well in the last game. These two teams are evenly matched, but AUS have a much better overall ODI record. So much for those who believed that Australia's worst performance (last game) was their true form. One poor game does not define a team. Long term success is a much better guide to predicting outcomes. So, @Aussassinator, is this last result a "true indication of the difference between the teams" as you wrote after the last game? LOL. Looks like you'll have to wait till the next Aussie loss before commenting again.

  • on October 28, 2011, 20:19 GMT

    Australia is the best....Proteas will always be second best when it comes to the Aussies.....

  • indianzen on October 28, 2011, 21:22 GMT

    Watson made the difference really, Smith was unable to get the flying start he usually does...

  • Athrylith on October 28, 2011, 21:25 GMT

    I think it is too early to judge anything considering South Africa are coming from a long break. However, I think there is a big question mark that hangs over Miller. Duminy and Duplessis are also a worry but they have shown promise. I would rather give Albie Morkel a chance. Somehow, I feel he is better equipped than Miller to take it to the bowlers. Why is there no Imran Tahir is still a mystery to me. Yes, Botha is doing well but we need an attacking option. Botha tends to hold well. When AB comes back, batting order balance will be restored. All in all, excited to see how things go for the Saffers in the next year or so ...

  • katwash on October 28, 2011, 22:21 GMT

    @Marcio, your comments were spot on, could not agree more. What made me smile was your last few lines, pure gold.

  • Brewer74 on October 28, 2011, 22:31 GMT

    Is it just me or is there a lot of these slow pitches around at the moment? It makes for a fairly dull game to be honest, at least in that midddle period. Good work by AUS though, should build good momentum going into the tests. Glad wayward son (Johnson) found some rythym and didnt spray too much, bodes well.

  • samincolumbia on October 28, 2011, 23:05 GMT

    The over rated South african team cannot win either at home or abroad...Even when a win is within the grasp, they choke and fall apart!!

  • on October 28, 2011, 23:17 GMT

    Oh.. was it the first time SA lost in a finals ...

  • smudgeon on October 28, 2011, 23:22 GMT

    I agree about Tahir, Athrylith. The world cup really favoured spinners (even Balaji Rao got amongst it) but Tahir still took 14 wickets in 5 matches, which is hard to ignore. Perhaps Botha has the edge for his handy batting? I think Tahir could really provide a surprise weapon for the Saffas, it's probably been a while since Australia had to bat against against a quality, attacking leggie.

  • on October 28, 2011, 23:57 GMT

    Worst Aussie team to ever tour SA and we lose to them...some things never change. Hopefully Amla resigns the vice-captaincy, simply not cut out for the job. He should stick to staying the best batsman in the team. Rather just make Smith captain, if he is going to play anyway he might as well captain. Last thing we can afford is for AB and Hashim to lose batting form over it.