VB Series, match 12

Australia v South Africa

At Perth, February 3. Australia won by 33 runs. Australia 4 pts. Toss: South Africa.

The key number was 226. Once South Africa, already assured of a place in the final, had passed it, a bonus point for Australia was impossible. They knew they had been prematurely dumped out of their annual tournament, for only the third time in 23 years, and the WACA crowd began to drift home. Put in, Australia made 283. It was a big total, but they needed a massive one to help secure the bonus point required to reach the final. Lehmann made a memorable return, after ten months on the sidelines, and Lee smashed 26 off five balls in one Donald over, but none of the front-line batsmen reached fifty. Kallis batted in his mechanical but bison-shouldered style; his century was not artistic, nor enough to claim a win, but it was sufficient to deny Australia's ultimate objective, and to salve South African pride after their thrashing in the Tests.

Man of the Match: J. H. Kallis.

© John Wisden & Co