Fourth ODI

South Africa v Australia, 2008-09

Neil Manthorp

At Port Elizabeth, April 13, 2009. South Africa won by 61 runs. Toss: Australia.One-day international debut: S. M. Harwood.

Herschelle Gibbs completed his lengthy recovery with a magnificent century four months after starting an alcohol-rehabilitation course following disciplinary problems. He had scored just one half-century (admittedly a brilliant one, at Sydney) in eight one-day and four Twenty20 innings since his return, but this was the confirmation everyone wanted to see that Gibbs could still cut it aged 35. His 110 from 116 balls - his 21st one-day international century, 14 months and 19 matches after his 20th - thrilled a capacity crowd at one of his favourite grounds, but it was his partnership of 136 with de Villiers which did so much to take the game away from Australia. Victoria's Shane Harwood, a fast bowler making his 50-over international debut at 35, took two wickets, but proved expensive late on. Nonetheless, a win looked within Australia's reach after an opening stand of 129 between the blazing Haddin (78 from 61 balls) and a more restrained Clarke (50 from 68). Ponting, having publicly berated himself the day before for not scoring a one-day hundred for over a year, was in determined mood, grafting to 53 from 67 balls. But only two more batsmen reached double figures, handing the match, the series and a reinforced No. 1 ranking to South Africa.

Man of the Match: H. H. Gibbs.

© John Wisden & Co.