Third ODI

Australia v South Africa 2008-09

Daniel Brettig

At Sydney, January 23, 2009 (day/night). South Africa won by three wickets. Toss: Australia.

By now Australia's batting problems were clear, and South Africa were able to claw back an even less favourable position - and reclaim the lead in the series - after the highest successful run-chase in one-day internationals at the SCG. They were up against it early on, as Warner made his only meaningful contribution of the series, cracking a pair of sixes and generally terrorising the bowlers while Marsh was quietly useful at the other end. Ponting helped maintain the pace after Warner heaved at Steyn, but Marsh crept outside his crease to sweep and was stumped. Varying his pace, although he did not turn it much, Botha also befuddled Ponting and Haddin, and the rest petered out. A target of 270 was still defendable for a confident team, but Australia's belief had been sapped over the summer. Gibbs benefited from David Hussey's first-over drop, and played with crispness to neutralise the new ball, partnered ably by Kallis. A stumble, hastened when Hauritz's shooter torpedoed Duminy, put the Australians in a similar position to the first match. But Morkel was familiar with the task, and took to it with more comfort than usually looks possible on Sydney's slowing surface. He applied the coup de grâce while facing Hauritz, taking 14 from three balls before skying a catch with only five needed. It later emerged that Tait had broken Boucher's left big toe with a yorker, bringing an early end to his tour.

Man of the Match: J. A. Morkel.

© John Wisden & Co.