Australia v South Africa, Tri-series, Harare August 27, 2014

Clinical South Africa gun down 327

169

South Africa 328 for 3 (de Villiers 136*, du Plessis 106) beat Australia 327 for 7 (Finch 102, Bailey 66, Hughes 51) by seven wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Play 02:02
'De Villiers and du Plessis knew how to pace their innings'

South Africa needed 91 runs from 77 balls when AB de Villiers, with 91 to his name and cramp slicing through his hamstring, walked across his crease, got down on one knee and scooped James Faulkner over his left-shoulder onto the open stands for six. In that one shot, all the questions about South Africa's ability to take on the best were answered.

De Villiers saw his childhood friend Faf du Plessis record his first ODI century in his 51st game, scored a hundred of his own and was there to scamper the winning single when JP Duminy called for it with 21 balls remaining.

The seven-wicket win in a 300-plus chase was as comprehensive as South Africa could have wanted after Australia controlled most of first half. Aaron Finch's fourth ODI century saw them through the middle-over squeeze and set up for a strong finish. Australia took 93 runs off the last 10 overs to post 327 but South Africa did not need a similarly swift response. De Villiers and du Plessis shared a record 206-run third-wicket stand, the highest at Harare Sports Club and the highest for South Africa against Australia, to break the back of the chase and put bowling issues on the backburner for now.

Both teams would be disappointed with their performance in the field, Australia more than South Africa, because they put down two chances as well as bled runs. Mitchell Johnson let de Villiers off the hook in his follow through when he was on 78 and George Bailey put him down at point on 85. Add that to the knowledge that none of their bowlers held an end and Australia will have some scrutinising to do.

Johnson was over-reliant on his short ball, which lacked its usual venom on a surface without much in it. Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson and James Faulkner also struggled to find the right length and the absence of a specialist spinner, with Nathan Lyon benched, was shown up especially against Imran Tahir's returns.

Tahir was South Africa's best performer with the ball and put the brakes on Australia after Finch and Phillip Hughes gave them a start of 62 runs in the first 10 overs. He removed both Hughes and Mitchell Marsh in his first spell which formed part of a ten-over period in which South Africa gave away just 32 runs and one boundary.

That proved vital because they lacked control later on as Finch and Bailey combined to threaten a late burst. Finch went from 80 to a century in 11 balls while Bailey tore into Morne Morkel and Ryan McLaren short balls to leave de Villiers without a banker for the death. Wayne Parnell, who conceded 46 runs in six overs thanks largely to a misdirected line down the leg-side, was used in the final over and cost de Villiers 20 runs. But all that was made to seem minimal when South Africa were at the crease.

Quinton de Kock and Hashim Ama were merciless on width in the opening passages and wiped away 44 runs in seven overs before Australia grabbed the upper-hand. Amla was well caught by Steven Smith at point and de Kock top-edged a pull to deep square leg to leave South Africa stuttering.

But de Villiers and du Plessis played partly with the watchfulness they employed in the Adelaide Test match almost three years ago and partly with aggression to keep South Africa in the hunt. They ran well between the wickets even when de Villiers was in so much discomfort he needed on-field treatment, they punished anything on a length and did not take risks until de Villiers offered his twin chances.

The two drops may have been the turning point because as Australia's confidence waned, South Africa's swelled. Du Plessis maiden ODI hundred came up off 95 balls with a crack through the covers, de Villiers' followed two balls later with a loft over mid-off and as they partnership grew to a double-century, South Africa only had victory in sight even though du Plessis was not there at the end to see it. Fittingly, de Villiers was.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • bavarian on August 30, 2014, 4:48 GMT

    i always hate discussing our one dayers, we are just one day series players, not a world cup aiming nation, we are least interested too, just the no.1 Test Team

    100% Pure Proteas

  • Cric_Janbaz on August 29, 2014, 11:12 GMT

    @landl47 has summed up Steyn-Johnson debate very wel,,no point arguing more....l

  • Jagger on August 29, 2014, 10:42 GMT

    @ Kallis-is-KING - Jagger is the Bradman of music.

  • Biggus on August 29, 2014, 9:06 GMT

    @Jeremy Doveton-Helps:- I was careful not to say Harris is as good as Steyn, but there's a lot we'll never know because of Harris's late blooming and injury woes. I think he has the skills to take wickets everywhere, but we'll never know for sure. Obviously Steyn's wicket tally and longevity will see him rated far more highly in posterity than Harris, however those who've followed Harris's career closely, myself included, will always think of what might have been. He's as good to watch go about his business as any quick I've ever seen, going back to about '72. He actually reminds me a little of Malcolm Marshall, a sentiment Mark Taylor echoed during an Ashes commentary stint over the summer. There's either something very special there, or we're both barking mad. None of this diminishes Steyn, whom I have only the greatest respect for, it's just a reminder that big test records don't tell the whole story, as with Barry Richards or Graeme Pollock for example.

  • on August 29, 2014, 8:51 GMT

    Please stop all this comparing Steyn with Johnston as they are both different but great fast bowlers , so let's just enjoy the only 2 top fast bowlers in world cricket right now as without these two how poor would test cricket be as gone are the days when every team had atleast 1 genuine quick. Let's hope more quicks come through soon as batsmen have it all to easy these days compared to previous decades.

  • STEYNOHOLIC on August 29, 2014, 7:57 GMT

    @xtrafalgarx, who said, "Steyn is Mozart. Johnson is the Rolling stones, and I have always had a rock n' roll heart" - You are so right, the one is an absolute genius (Once in a life-time) & the other, merely talented. There'll be many a 'Rolling Stones-type but only ever, one Mozart. Now I, for one, prefer the genius-type!

  • on August 29, 2014, 7:27 GMT

    @ Biggus - your comment on SA's tracks is fair, but you need to take on board that what sets Steyn apart form anyone else is what he manages to extract from 'dead' tracks... SA have a quite extraordinary record AWAY from SA's quick tracks in recent years, due in no small part to Steyn's variety and skill

  • Shaggy076 on August 29, 2014, 7:27 GMT

    HennopsRiverEnd; Absolutely and those that cant enjoy these champions should really take a good look at themselves.

  • HennopsRiverEnd on August 29, 2014, 7:07 GMT

    @Shaggy076. No harm done, world cricket is lucky to have both Steyn and Johnson. i think @landl47 summed it up very well.

  • on August 29, 2014, 5:13 GMT

    @Biggus Dale Steyn has taken 250+ test wickets more than Harris has (383 v 103) that's what makes his average so impressive. Nevertheless Harris is still a very good bowler!

  • bavarian on August 30, 2014, 4:48 GMT

    i always hate discussing our one dayers, we are just one day series players, not a world cup aiming nation, we are least interested too, just the no.1 Test Team

    100% Pure Proteas

  • Cric_Janbaz on August 29, 2014, 11:12 GMT

    @landl47 has summed up Steyn-Johnson debate very wel,,no point arguing more....l

  • Jagger on August 29, 2014, 10:42 GMT

    @ Kallis-is-KING - Jagger is the Bradman of music.

  • Biggus on August 29, 2014, 9:06 GMT

    @Jeremy Doveton-Helps:- I was careful not to say Harris is as good as Steyn, but there's a lot we'll never know because of Harris's late blooming and injury woes. I think he has the skills to take wickets everywhere, but we'll never know for sure. Obviously Steyn's wicket tally and longevity will see him rated far more highly in posterity than Harris, however those who've followed Harris's career closely, myself included, will always think of what might have been. He's as good to watch go about his business as any quick I've ever seen, going back to about '72. He actually reminds me a little of Malcolm Marshall, a sentiment Mark Taylor echoed during an Ashes commentary stint over the summer. There's either something very special there, or we're both barking mad. None of this diminishes Steyn, whom I have only the greatest respect for, it's just a reminder that big test records don't tell the whole story, as with Barry Richards or Graeme Pollock for example.

  • on August 29, 2014, 8:51 GMT

    Please stop all this comparing Steyn with Johnston as they are both different but great fast bowlers , so let's just enjoy the only 2 top fast bowlers in world cricket right now as without these two how poor would test cricket be as gone are the days when every team had atleast 1 genuine quick. Let's hope more quicks come through soon as batsmen have it all to easy these days compared to previous decades.

  • STEYNOHOLIC on August 29, 2014, 7:57 GMT

    @xtrafalgarx, who said, "Steyn is Mozart. Johnson is the Rolling stones, and I have always had a rock n' roll heart" - You are so right, the one is an absolute genius (Once in a life-time) & the other, merely talented. There'll be many a 'Rolling Stones-type but only ever, one Mozart. Now I, for one, prefer the genius-type!

  • on August 29, 2014, 7:27 GMT

    @ Biggus - your comment on SA's tracks is fair, but you need to take on board that what sets Steyn apart form anyone else is what he manages to extract from 'dead' tracks... SA have a quite extraordinary record AWAY from SA's quick tracks in recent years, due in no small part to Steyn's variety and skill

  • Shaggy076 on August 29, 2014, 7:27 GMT

    HennopsRiverEnd; Absolutely and those that cant enjoy these champions should really take a good look at themselves.

  • HennopsRiverEnd on August 29, 2014, 7:07 GMT

    @Shaggy076. No harm done, world cricket is lucky to have both Steyn and Johnson. i think @landl47 summed it up very well.

  • on August 29, 2014, 5:13 GMT

    @Biggus Dale Steyn has taken 250+ test wickets more than Harris has (383 v 103) that's what makes his average so impressive. Nevertheless Harris is still a very good bowler!

  • Biggus on August 29, 2014, 2:45 GMT

    Interestingly, at this moment in time Dale Steyn and Ryan Harris have EXACTLY the same test bowling average, 22.56. Steyn's strike rate is a little better but SA wickets generally have a little more juice in them than Australian ones. Steyn's longevity tips the scales but Harris is still a gem.

  • landl47 on August 29, 2014, 2:32 GMT

    The difference between Steyn and Johnson is that in 2013/4 Johnson had one of the greatest seasons any fast bowler has ever had. Steyn is on his way to having one of the greatest careers any fast bowler has ever had.

  • Biggus on August 28, 2014, 23:15 GMT

    All this "how good is Mitchell Johnson really" stuff is a bit like the situation with Lillee and Thommo many moons ago. I don't think anyone actually thought Thommo was the better of the two but when he was firing he was the more threatening bowler. To me it's clear that Dale Steyn and a fit Ryan Harris are the two best quicks in the world atm. Without a Duke ball and English conditions Jimmy Anderson is only half the bowler he is with those assets. With the right conditions MJ is the most dangerous bowler in the world but lacks the skills of Steyn and Harris to make things happen out of nowhere, unless he can get the ball swinging, which is a bit hit and miss with Mitch. Steyn and Harris are in a class of their own, and their figures make that pretty clear.

  • Shaggy076 on August 28, 2014, 22:41 GMT

    TommyTuckerSaffa: It should be absolutely obvious why I used a home ground example rather than a sub-continental sample because I am talking current form and there are no current examples of Mitch bowling in test cricket on the sub-continent in the form he is in at the moment. The last time he bowled there it was wayward Mitch. Now for your point "against a weak team" - At the start of the last Australian summer you would have had the South African batting line up number 1 in the world and the English Number 2. At the time Cook, Pietersen, Trott were all averaging above 50. Bell had 2 years of great form. Prior was averaging 45 and Root had a great start to his career - They were not weak before they faced Mitch.

  • Shaggy076 on August 28, 2014, 22:35 GMT

    HennopsRiverEnd : I'm using a small sample size because I said at the moment ie current form and old form then is pointless isn't it. I have no qualms saying that if you look overall at who has been the bowler of the generation that Steyn wins hands down. Johnson is just in some read hot current form. I didn't mean to start the Steyn/JOhnson debate I'm just sick of the comments since Mitch revival that if he goes for a session without a wicket, if he has a one-day game without a wicket and in his one just ok test we get the constant jealous comments from sub-continental fans picking him to bits. Steyn doesn't get the same attention and nor should he because one-day cricket is built for batsman , bowlers are even given sub-standard balls. There will be the odd test where he doesn't take 10 wickets but that is the same for every great bowler. None of my comments have been to put Steyn down as the bloke is world class.

  • xtrafalgarx on August 28, 2014, 20:33 GMT

    @MeTalHel96: RT Ponting did have something to say about it, and he agrees with what I said this is coming from a Ponting fanatic who has read and watched many of his books and documentaries.

    Performing in big series is what people remember, where ever that is. For me, banging away in the subcontinent is...yeah you know. It's good if you can do it but i don't think it means more than performing in the Ashes or against the best team in the world in their back yard.

  • Biggus on August 28, 2014, 20:17 GMT

    @ Greatest_Game:- No doubt about it mate, Hughes just doesn't look good against spin despite what some would say, but if India bring Ashwin and Jadeja down here to handle the spin duties it's not unreasonable to imagine he might be able to handle them in Australia. I thought Tahir actually bowled very well in his spell.

  • Chris_P on August 28, 2014, 19:33 GMT

    @ TommytuckerSaffa Easy Tommy, there isn't one Aussie fan who doesn't think Steyn is the real deal, but after what MJ did to the Poms & your team in the first test, he doesn't go too bad to have in your team. Most of us here appreciate quality players no matter where they are from (a few exceptions, but mostly know little about the game). It's been good banter with fun digs, let's keep it that way.

  • Greatest_Game on August 28, 2014, 16:47 GMT

    @ Biggus, in the first post on this thread, wrote "I'm going to stick my neck out (not all that much really) and predict he'll (Hughes) be recalled to the test side against India and have a massive summer."

    Based on recent performance, Rob Quiney in the test side against India will have a massive summer. John Hastings in the test side against India will have a massive summer. Ed Cowan, Matt Wade, Bryce McGain, Ian Chappell, Bill Lawrey & <insert name here> in the test side against India will have a massive summer. Andy Zaltsman could have the massive summer he always wanted.

    However, there is no question Hughes looked very dangerous, & was spanking the quicks with ease until spin came on. He hit 2 runs in 8 balls from Imran Tahir, who, in the space of 5 balls, had him clueless twice with the same delivery - the 2nd a plumb dismissal. That does not call out "deadly against spin." He'll have to change that if the seeming apathy of the Aussie selectors towards him is to be changed.

  • MeTalHeD69 on August 28, 2014, 16:20 GMT

    @ xtrafalgarx Sub continent pitches are just as important as others. It means that a bowler who can take wickets when the pitch is not helping him is better than someone who cannot. MJ is not a bad bowler, but he is more like Vernon Philander in terms of impact. Deadly in the right conditions, but average in others. Steyn is also not a "steady eddy". He destroys batting line-ups (especially in tests) in all conditions. If that isn't impact then I don't know what is. This places him head and shoulders above the rest. As for Adam Gilchrist (55x50s and 16x100s) being Australia's best ODI player...I think a certain Ricky Thomas Ponting (82x50s and 29x100s) would like to have a word with you about that...heck, I think Mike Hussey would be in with a shout too, but more Ricky for his fielding and captaincy.

  • Greatest_Game on August 28, 2014, 16:15 GMT

    Any Johnson vs Steyn debate is pointless: Jimmy Anderson is officially the "Most Skillful Bowler in the World!" Mitch & Dale are club trundlers next to Skillful Jimmy, also the "World's Number 1 Ranked Sledger!"

    More seriously, Steyn is a superb athlete, with the perfect build for a quick - light, lithe, all fast twitch muscle. He is as short as they come at 5' 10", but then the peerless Malcolm Marshall was only an inch taller. They are cut from the same rare cloth - height is no issue! Steyn barely has gets injured: a strain or 2 at max.

    Mitch too is a great athlete: hit a 6 off the 1st ball he faced in 1st class! But, bigger, heavier, he had injury problems. From U19 back injuries & recurrent toe injuries plagued him. This, & consequent tinkering with his action, led to ups & downs in form, but at peak he is phenomenally destructive & can dominate a game as well as Steyn can.

    Face it: today, in form, they are any skipper's pick as opening pair. That says more than anything else!

  • on August 28, 2014, 15:46 GMT

    I can sum up the difference between Johnson and Steyn quite quickly: Test # 2121 - M Johnson: 40 overs, 121 Runs, 3 Wickets = 80.0SR, 40.33Ave

    D Steyn:33 Overs, 110 Runs, 5 Wickets = 36SR, 21.4Ave

    This was a slow, low wicket, with almost no assistance for the bowlers - a "dead" pitch. When the pitch assists Mitch, he is a terror, otherwise, he is just good. Much like Vernon Philander in that sense.

  • Waws on August 28, 2014, 15:12 GMT

    There was never much hype about MJ before the Eng/SA series,just saying....he is 32 already if im not mistaken, Steyn is 30....You cant compare the two after one had two great serieses,and mind you MJ was dropped at a stage....wonder why?

  • xtrafalgarx on August 28, 2014, 14:29 GMT

    @Tommytuckersaffa: Steyn is the better all-round bowler in terms of skill and control, no doubt about that. But the subcontinent to me is not the be all and end all. The best bowlers make the biggest impacts in my view, and Johnson is an impact bowler. He is not a steady eddy, he is a match winner.

    I think of him like Adam Gilchrist in ODI's. No one would doubt that Gilly is one of Australia's greatest ever ODI players, if not the best. But you look at his average. 35 runs per innings. Kids years from now will look back and say:

    'How is this guy a great player, he only averaged 35'.

    But we know what he did, he didn't do it all the time, but when he came off he won games. Johnson for me is like that. He came off and won the Ashes back for his team after years of hurt, he came off when he blasted South Africa away in Newlands to help Australia beat the best team in the world. That's what we

    Steyn is Mozart. Johnson is the Rolling stones, and I have always had a rock n' roll heart

  • Greatest_Game on August 28, 2014, 14:25 GMT

    No offense to the officials, but when writing about the need for DRS, I forgot to mention the "5 ball over … oops … everybody back for one more ball" special. I was watching & said to myself "Oh no - de Kock is going to lose his concentration here." Sure enough, the kid blew it. That is his fault, and he'll need to learn his lesson, but one would hope that the umps to learn to count to six first!

    I thought the 3rd ump was supposed to be there to stop that sort of thing right away. The on-field umps do have a tough job, & mistakes can happen, but there are blokes watching out for this - 3rd ump, referee, other officials, & they have radios…. No need for bowlers & fielders to run all the way across the park & reset the field, twice, when they are already under the gun with the over rate.

    When TV commentators are on top of events before officials are, it seems that a few ICC procedures should be tightened up. This is supposed to be the elite level of the game, everywhere it is played.

  • HennopsRiverEnd on August 28, 2014, 14:20 GMT

    @Shaggy076. You're also using a small sample size (2 series') to deem him the best bowler in the world.

  • on August 28, 2014, 14:14 GMT

    @Realistic_cri_fan: A road it may have been, but this is ODI, which should favour the batsmen. Test cricket should be an even contest, but ODI's should favour the batsmen somewhat. I personally prefer the lower scoring contests, the tension prevails more, but ODI cricket isnt really about that.

  • Shaggy076 on August 28, 2014, 13:48 GMT

    TommyTuckerSaffa: Read my comments again Steyn us an outstanding bowler and over a full career he has been significantly better than Johnson. I said at the moment and I use the last series between Australia and South Africa to qualify that. As for the slow wicket that easvin relation to several commenters saying he is an average bowler on slow wickets. Steyn is outstanding I just don't like it when people with inferior lifes like to jump on the Johnson is crap band wagon because of one one-day international and I don't put you in this bracket.

  • Greatest_Game on August 28, 2014, 13:47 GMT

    This series would be tastier with DRS. Bailey got an awful howler. Well set, his dismissal slowed the Aus batting. As a Saffa I was unhappy to see him go: a simple TV replay would have saved him. The gap between bat & the ball was wider than his smile! The ICC rules that ball tracking, etc, all have to be in place for DRS do no good.

    Hughes got let off but fell to the same ball from Tahir minutes later. (Spin problem?) Amla was walking after Smith fairly claimed his catch, but had to stand around, clearly uncomfortable, while replays confirmed it. Smith took 2 very good catches! (Mitch/Bailey - report for fielding practice with Smith!) Luck did favour SA - no question there.

    A bit more spice in the tracks would be good. Not quite like the meadow Eng produced at Lords (& then lost on,) just a little more for the pacers.

    All in all I must say the match was played in good spirit by both sides. Tough but fair! I did not see any sign of nasty sledging or attitude. (hmm ... no Warner...)

  • TommytuckerSaffa on August 28, 2014, 13:26 GMT

    @ Shaggy076 I see you used a home ground performance (Adelaide) against a weak team to illustrate how good Johnson's bowling is on slow decks and then declare him as the worlds best bowler - wow. Since he is a better than Steyn as you say, can you give me some examples of his superb bowling performances in the Subcontinent?

    Just a heads up, I wouldn't use Johnson's match figures in India (Nagpur) when comparing him to Steyn. Mitch got 1/106 and Steyn got 10/108. Sorry, just one more, I wouldn't use Johnsons Sri Lanka (Galle) figures either when comparing. Mitch got 2/82 and Dale got 9/99. Let me know.

  • xtrafalgarx on August 28, 2014, 13:25 GMT

    @Germanplayer: Steyn is the better bowler overrall. However, it is still valid to say who is the best bowler 'right now'. When Tendulkar was still playing - based purely on his record, you could say he was the best in the world based on your analysis. Of course he wasn't. He had been great for a long time, but at that moment towards the end of his career, he wasn't the best because he wasn't at his peak. In Shaggy's opinion, Steyn is better, but in certain instances during that reign there, Johnson was better based on form.

  • Greatest_Game on August 28, 2014, 13:09 GMT

    @ Ashokdmightyindian claims that Imran Tahir "will be smashed once (he) face(s) worlds best batting line up!!"

    In ODIs, Tahir has faced the world's best batsmen, and done very very well. In the 2011 WC the SC "spin specialists" struggled against him. Yesterday he faced top class Aussie batting & was the best bowler in the match!

    In the 2014 IPL he was brought in halfway through the season and immediately made his mark as one of the tournament's most successful. The only problem he has is India - they have folded to the quicks before he gets a chance to have a go at them.

    I don't know who you think is "World's Best Batting Line Up?" Not India. SA completely crushed them in the 2013 ODI series. SA just beat Sri Lanka in an ODI series - IN Sri Lanka. Pakistan have some good batsmen, but will never play Hafeez against Steyn again. New Zealand are good - they also smashed India, but SA will down them.

    Keep watching the great batting line ups - Aus vs SA. Nothing like them in the world

  • GermanPlayer on August 28, 2014, 12:56 GMT

    @Shaggy01 Agreed that people should not judge Johnson on this game. But when you say that Johnson is the best bowler in the world at the moment, you are forcing people to not take you seriously...

    How can you dismiss Dale Steyn who has been the number 1 in rankings for so many years now, is a greater exponent of reverse swing and is arguably the greatest bowler of all time(his stats show that at this rate he'll be the greatest Test fast bowler ever). JOhnson on the other hand has had two very good test series and has a long way to go. I do hope he carries on and becomes an even greater threat but at the moment, he is no where near Steyn!

  • xtrafalgarx on August 28, 2014, 12:23 GMT

    I thought Boof would play Smith or Maxwell at 3 this series. I don't see the logic in Smith coming in late, he isn't a finisher. He is more of a composer, so why not give him the chance to build an innings? If all Smith is going to do come in at no.6 or 7 trying to slog and bowl a few expensive leggies - I'm sorry he isn't good enough to be in the team.

    M. Marsh, despite our excitement last game need,s at the very least, 2 years in domestic cricket, period. The comparisons with Watson have to stop. For all the hate, Watson has played some of the greatest innings by an Australian in ODI's and he is a smart, thinking bowler whose skill is such that he could get in the side for his bowling alone. - Marsh not good enough to be in the team as it is.

    Starc has got the potential to be a great ODI bowler, but he is not the finished product yet, but good enough to be in the team. Johnson's form in ODI's isn't as good as it should be. Faulkner is a real worry, consistently expensive.

  • Shaggy076 on August 28, 2014, 12:14 GMT

    Some people commenting on here must lead such fabulous lives that everything they do is perfect. Its a one-day game South Sfrica were chasing 327 and were always going to play shots that they wouldnt in any normal game. To then say Johnson is not a great bowler from such a small sample size when any bowler can go in such conditions ie look at Steyn's figures. Johnson right now is the best bowler in the world, simple as that, he is the guy you would least like to face. As for no good on slow wickets ask the English how they went at Adelaide oval a completely lifeless track.

  • on August 28, 2014, 11:22 GMT

    Starch johnson Pattinson Bird/harris These 4 should be doing all the major bowling for Australia as far as WC15 is concerned I would agree with a mate that Hughes and finch should remain the openers with warner at 3 clarke at 4 watson at 5 maxwell smith marsh filing 6,7

  • on August 28, 2014, 11:00 GMT

    @Harlequin. I also pretty much summed it up in a similar manner. I said Mitch is a great bowler when he gets his radar right.Till now, so far as I am concerned, he is someone who is a "good" bowler, who sometimes bowls "great" spells. In order for him to be considered an all time great those "sometimes" need to increase. He is similar to Kevin Petiersen in some ways. KP will always be considered a "good" batsman ( an average less than 50 in this batting era remember) who could play "great" innings.

  • on August 28, 2014, 10:51 GMT

    I like Bailey, and I'd prefer to hang out with him than Clarke, but I can't help but feel that he isn't the best tactical captain, as far as bowling changes go, I feel Clarke may have made a difference in that regard. However, the playing XI chosen for Australia was not ideal, Warner and Watson are notably missing from the top 3. Hughes did well, Finch very well, they should remain the opening partnership even when Watson and Warner come back. The bowling is difficult decision to make. I feel they need a more canny bowler that bowls at that awkward pace - doesn't come on to the bat and has substantial natural variation of pace, someone like Bracken or even Mckay. Bowling, as their past 5 ODI defeats shows, has been the major weakness of Australia, ideally you want Harris and Bird in the team... injuries really hurting them. an Ideal XI, i feel is. 1. Finch 2. Hughes(WK) 3. Watson 4. Warner 5 Clarke 6 Bailey 7 Maxwell 8 Midge 9. Harris/Pattinson/Bird 10. Mckay 11 Lyon/O'Keefe.

  • Realistic_cri_fan on August 28, 2014, 10:49 GMT

    What a road!Nothing for the bowlers.Even Steyn,Johnson were thrashed.Every rule in modern day cricket is favoring the batsmen.Atleast provide a pitch which can give a fair bit of contest between bat and ball.On a pitch like this AB will score a century 9 out of 10 times.Surprised that Amla didn't score a century.

  • on August 28, 2014, 10:46 GMT

    AB is best batsman I've seen, and he's also consistent across all formats. He's 30 now, seemingly been around forever, only now hitting his prime years. He will probably go down as the best since Bradman eventually, even if he doesn't play 200 tests like Tendulkar.

  • Unomaas on August 28, 2014, 10:45 GMT

    Great win by the Saffers yesterday but there were negative's . The bowling selection was terrible. The only "holding" bowler selected was McLaren. The other 4 were strike bowlers. When strike bowlers don't strike, they leak runs. Philander/Tsotsobe/Shezi are holding bowlers meant to contain and we needed a container yesterday. SA selected Parnell because they wanted to boost the batting but once again SA management trying to hedge their bets and it back-fired spectacularly.

    Morkel and Parnell should NEVER EVER play together because they always blow hot or cold. They are never consistent. You're always taking a risk with those 2 on any given match day.

    AB's captaining was also disappointing. At one point he had Tahir and Duminy strangling aussies and then he brought quick's back. Get the feeling he was working from a script instead of reading the game. Slip placement in 40+ over was inspiring.

    Great performance from Tahir. He was the differences between the 2 teams.

  • NixNixon on August 28, 2014, 10:40 GMT

    SA vs AUS matches are always the best to watch. A pitty they dont play each other more.

    Again Johnson proved average on slower wickets. Dont get me wrong, he is more of a handful when bowling on fast wickets with bounce, but unfortunately he is not the complete package as was made of him in recent times.

  • on August 28, 2014, 9:43 GMT

    Brilliant knock indeed, lets hope our boys will be consistent with such performance. If they do, we will be invincible and dominate just like in test cricket.

  • First_Drop on August 28, 2014, 9:26 GMT

    Kudo to the Saffers - though I'm an Aussie fan you've gotta heand it to them; they played well. In the end, - it was a good toss for SA to win and the correct decision to put the aussies in to bat. - the aussies can't aford to give AB two lives (two dropped catches, one of them a Dolly) What difference would Lyon have made? We'll never know but I personally believe that Smith is underrated as a spin bowler.

    I'm also struggling to understand how Mitchell Marsh came to be in the team?

  • on August 28, 2014, 9:02 GMT

    You can handle being beaten by the best and AB is certainly the best at the moment. Faf was pretty brilliant too. Hats off to those two.

  • cricketsubh on August 28, 2014, 8:54 GMT

    agree with u lian_14 @aus need to pick bowlers who can bowl aganist world class batsmens i think rayan harris should play 2015 wc .boof need to pick him he can bowl well with new bowl and he also very gud at end overs . i think haris.jhonson.mckey.stac,countanal these 5 bowlers should pick for australia in 15 men wc squds .plz publish cricnfo

  • Mindmeld on August 28, 2014, 8:29 GMT

    SA batted as well as you'd expect, so good on them. But boy, was it one lifeless track! It had a bit in it for the first hour, then was as dead as a door nail. I don't think any score would gave been enough here.

    This reminded me of the T20 WC, where AUS repeatedly selected a pace-centred attack on dead wickets. But I suppose the big picture is getting guys ready for the ODI WC.

    I was disappointed in the game, as I could see the outcome 60% of the way through the game. This was easy to predict because there was absolutely nothing in the pitch for the quicks, and AUS didn't select a single spinner.

  • AMMAR3438668158 on August 28, 2014, 8:22 GMT

    i m from pak an big big fan of aussie team.what happen to aussie bowling and why bailey drop lyon i can't understan this strategy.this bowling is not suit to these type of bowlers like johnson,starc and richardson.is this bailey captaincy?one thing i see is inclusion of hughes ,he played so well but if maxwell shwo his consistancy then we again score 350+ but overall our batting is good.lehman should work team bowling and tell their bowlers how to bowl against big teams like sa, ind and eng in away or neutral venue because this bowling not better against these sides and good players in any venue.

  • Harlequin. on August 28, 2014, 8:02 GMT

    @Prabhakar Muthukrishnan - I'm going to jump in here on Dave Bollen's behalf, just to show you that it is possible for someone else to read the post he put and not jump to the wrong conclusion. He did not say that Mitch is one of the all time greats. He added a couple of caveats; he said that on his day, Mitch is one of the greatest fast bowlers he has seen. And I would have to agree with him there, despite being English.

  • STEYNOHOLIC on August 28, 2014, 7:56 GMT

    This AB is simply a genius with bat in hand. What's particularly amazing is the fact that he seems to have so much TIME. Don't know if anyone noticed it against Mitchell Johnson - he moved across to off stump, presumably to hit it over mid-wicket, the ball wasn't there to hit and he simply rocked back in line and defended it. All this in a blink of an eye at MJ's pace. I was like, WOW!

  • on August 28, 2014, 7:53 GMT

    3. Lyon had to play yesterday. Spin is always a huge part of the equation in Zimbabwe and Maxwell too should have bowled before Smith and should have bowled more overs as well.

    I actually thought that considering the wicket yesterday pretty much everyone was okay, but we are getting it all wrong with Marsh at 3. He certainly won't bat there during the WC so why play him there now? Blokes like Smith and Maxi could both be very good there long term, why aren't they getting this opportunity? Assuming we want Marsh to develop into a bowler that can get through 10 overs, do we want him playing long innings, or do we want him flexing his muscles at the end to clear the fences? For mine it is very much the latter, particularly when you consider his susceptibility to injury.

    Lastly, is there actually a place for Michael Clarke in our best xi? Unless he is bowling I'm no longer convinced there is. Blokes like Smith hit the ball harder and field far better, perhaps that's his problem!

  • lian_14 on August 28, 2014, 7:48 GMT

    @cricketsubh i think you're a bit harsh on bailey. I think a lot of credit must be given to AB DeVilliers and Du Plessis who were able to manipulate the field and find spaces easily. Don't think any captain would have been able to defend the shots Du Plessis flat batted down the ground, for example.

    I just feel that a lot of the times Bailey has taken the reign in ODIs has been in difficult situations & hence he's copped it a bit for his captaincy. For e.g., when: 1) Key players are being rested after a long summer (e.g. v Sri Lanka 2013 where opening 3 batsmen were debutants and they were being tagged the Aus B team, v England 2014 where around 4 key players in the Ashes squad had a rest) 2) When Clarke is unexpectedly injured and he all of a sudden is expected to take up the role (e.g. Champions Trophy and on this Zimbabwe Tour) 3) On flat tracks against quality ODI sides (India and SA) - here, bowlers are ineffective and captaincy looks equally ineffective.

  • Amol_Gh on August 28, 2014, 7:47 GMT

    I would say Steyn and Johnson are pretty much the calibre in the ODI scenario, but in Tests, which is the real benchmark, Steyn is miles ahead not only of Johnson but actually is creating history. and Steyn is effective on ALL surfaces including India and SriLanka where a magical spell of his just concluded in the last series. Johnson on the other hand has yet to prove himself on the surfaces that don't assist fast-bowling. But he did perform great in against ENG and SA, but that is yet an insufficient performance in calling him to be 'great' bowler like Steyn. Johnson will have to perform consistently on that level to be called a 'great' (which would only help him more in getting his Test Average down from a bloated 28.00 to 22.00 like Steyn, the great). Until then, we will have to wait. Nothing personal.

  • on August 28, 2014, 7:41 GMT

    A few things, lets start from the top, shall we? 1. What on earth is Mitch Marsh doing at no.3? He is an allrounder, yes, but he cannot bat like Watto, not yet, nor will he be able to before the WC comes around. For mine either Maxwell or Smith have to be batting there when I look at this squad, they are the blokes who can play long attacking innings against both pace and spin. Some people are calling Smith a bits and pieces player and he certainly is down at no.6. Batting at 3 he could be sublime, he certainly wouldn't have cost us all our early momentum yesterday in the fashion that Marsh did. Smith would have handled Tahir and Duminy at first with ease and later on with disdain. 2. We all argued for McKay and yesterday we saw exactly why, on a pitch doing absolutely nothing apart from half a dozen balls which bounced completely mysteriously, he would have given us that very hard to hit line and length rather that Starc and Richo's all over the shop looking for a wicket bowling.

  • RapidCommentsPlz on August 28, 2014, 7:14 GMT

    mitchell johnson n philander are the worlds worst set of bowlers. theydonteven know how to bowlon flat tracks. on the other hand, look at steyn he rips apart even on the flat tracks. people asking for lyon inclusion is the worst joke of the year. he is as pathetic as anyone. dont even know how to bowl.ha ha!!! Imran tahir in the same league. Both will be smashed once they face worlds best batting line up!!

  • on August 28, 2014, 7:13 GMT

    @Dave Bollan. For any fast bowler to be termed a "great" he needs to perform on lifeless subcontinent tracks just as subcontinent batsmen become "great" only when they perform in Australia or SA. Mitchell Johnson has not yet passed this test to be acclaimed a "great".This is a stern test that only a select few like Malcolm Marshall, Dale Steyn and Glenn Mcgrath have passed. Till such time he will continue to be a good bowler and that too only when he gets his radar right. It must be however said that he has been getting his radar right , more often than not, in recent times.

  • stormer1980 on August 28, 2014, 7:06 GMT

    So .. I was one of the Faf bashers not to long ago but good grief had this lad come into his own ... He is slowly becoming a very reliable batsmen at 3 and while he will never be Jaques Kallis .... He will definitley be Faf du Plessis at no.3 for South Africa ... Consistency has been special from him , especially with al his detractors ... I actually think it's his demeanour or nature to prove people wrong ... and u've proved me wrong mate ... Well Done ... I really hope you keep it up ... I'll go home now and go eat some humble pie bud ... LOL

  • on August 28, 2014, 6:48 GMT

    Very good win to the Saffas. Ab extremely impressive as usual. @Cric_Janbaz. Johnson is 8th fastest to 200 ODI wickets, 14th fastest to 250 Test wickets, both with excellent strike rates. You may have forgotten his most recent test series against SAf - then World No.1, in South Africa. 22 wickets at 17 I think, following on from his destruction of England (37 at 13?). Not sure where you`re from, but any team in the world would give a lot to have him in their side. He`s an obvious choice for current World XI, and, at his best, is one of the greatest fast bowlers I`ve seen in more than 35 years of watching cricket.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on August 28, 2014, 6:43 GMT

    @Cric_Janbaz - By your logic even Steyn,Morkel are over-rated bowlers considering even they were smashed around by much more inexperienced Aussie batsmen and had even more expensive figures than Johnson. Also the pitch ,as flat as it was got even better in 2nd half of the game under the sun. With his performances in Aussie W in SA just after the ashes, even the SA commentators will be in full agreement to the Eng ones,I'm sure. And yes well played SA . And relly good knocks there by Faf and AB. Were the better team on the day. Looking fwd to couple more good contests b/w these 2 great sides in next few days. Am sure Aussies will be looking for a fight back. Good luck to both!

  • cricketsubh on August 28, 2014, 6:20 GMT

    berly should be captain aus team in 1st he is abad captain donot under stand his bowlers and match situations he always smiles wether team lose or win finch shouls make cap

  • Marktc on August 28, 2014, 5:56 GMT

    This is a finger up to all of the anti Faf brigade. He is proving to be a decent number three, in tests and ODI's. South Africa has always been up there with their ODI play (bar a few short periods) but the World Cup still evades us. Think I will just appreciate game by game of this series and not look too far ahead.

  • Cric_Janbaz on August 28, 2014, 5:53 GMT

    Mitchell Johnson is an over-rated bowler,courtesy to some poor short pitch ball playing technique by Englishmen....He is a good bowler but not as great as some English commentators think cuz he took wickets against them...He is way way away from being even called average in the list of Greats

  • Ashish_Kumar_Singh on August 28, 2014, 5:15 GMT

    AB, one of the all time best batsman can have better of any fast bowler in the world without any doubt. Its hypothetical but I am interested to see a battle between AB and spin wizard Shane Warne...!!!

  • vigneshmurali on August 28, 2014, 4:53 GMT

    these guys just keep getting better

  • lian_14 on August 28, 2014, 4:52 GMT

    I think Doherty should have been in the squad. From what I've seen of him over the years, he's been great at keeping one end tied down. He might not spin the ball, but he knows his game well enough to be able to mix it up here and there. Lyon on the other hand didn't look like he had much to offer, just kept dishing up deliveries outside the off-stump, which is pretty predictable in my opinion.

    Also, kind of feel for Bailey in ODIs when it comes to captaincy. Always seems to be leading a half-depleted team or more frankly an Aus A team with a few star players out and if not that, he seems to be leading the team when they play on literally roads, where his bowlers, esp his strike bowlers, are incapable of getting any wickets.

    All in all, Aus batting seems quite potent at the moment. It's really the bowling which needs a lot of improvement, especially on pitches which don't offer much. And hopefully there's more variations in the attack (three left-arm quicks is a little too much).

  • cricketsubh on August 28, 2014, 4:50 GMT

    i think this aus team win this series or not they pick 3 allrounders in the 14 member sqaud and a spinner lyon exprement fail clarke i donot think he realy wanted to play in this series but big prblm for aus is their spinner i donot think they need to pick lyon in this series dhourty is a very gud odi spiner they should him every one in aus media say marsh,cutting ,should be in the aus wc squad but aus wc squad pickes already.warner.finch.wastson.clarke.berly.maxwell.haddin.dhourty.harris.jhonson.stac.son marsh.fulkner.countanel.mekey. these 15 member squd will be pick for aus.plz publish

  • warneneverchuck on August 28, 2014, 4:41 GMT

    I think abd is by far the best batsman in the world at the moment in all formats

  • anver777 on August 28, 2014, 4:29 GMT

    SUPERBBBB chase by SA !!! AB & FAF's calculated knocks made the target looked like a small one. They achieved it quiet easily in the end !!!! Congrats FAF for his 1st century in ODI's !!!!

  • on August 28, 2014, 4:26 GMT

    on flat tracks, Aus have an issue with their bowling..they dont seem to have bowlers who can take wickets thru the innings. That is the only way to build pressure on the team chasing. Else, in the current age of T20 style hitting, if wkts are in the bag, usually tall scores get chased down. Australia had a similar issue in India when they played their last IDO series here..they would score 350, and it would get chased down with ease..

  • AnoMaLy on August 28, 2014, 4:24 GMT

    Well played SA! Can they keep this form till the WC final though?Aussies missed Lyon. Also finch is probably their best batsman right now on current form. He should be drafted into the test time to open alongside Warner. Matthew hadden's replacement has finally been found. Aussie's need to treat him well and not what they did to Watson.

  • on August 28, 2014, 4:02 GMT

    well done S.A..true champions..A.B best Batsmen in the Universe.......u rockzzzz

  • Albert_cambell on August 28, 2014, 3:31 GMT

    Well done proteas. This is our 5th consecutive ODI win. Faf is becoming a solid No.3 for us. Only concern for us in this team is we are missing an allrounder who can bat at No.7

  • Insult_2_Injury on August 28, 2014, 3:01 GMT

    Steven_Scott: Smith, bits and pieces player? I've been no fan of his 'til last Aussie summer, where he has shown his ability to bat when it counts. He's not going to say no if the selectors want him to throw a few down. The real bits and pieces player we can do without is Maxwell. I thought he was a flat track bully, but what he's proven here is he can flog a few on flat tracks against ordinary attacks, but fails against quality. That's been his MO in all forms, including IPL. Nice to find that out six months out from the World Cup.

  • yogicoolboy on August 28, 2014, 2:50 GMT

    Well done Ab and his boys. Truly magnificent batting by ab and faf. Australia paid the price for poor catching. Indeed dropped catches cost Australia the match.

  • proteasfire on August 28, 2014, 2:44 GMT

    Magnificent victory for South Africa!! No words to praise Faf Du Plessis who played gem of an innings at #3. He's slowly converting his test form into ODIs and thats a great sign. He has got terrific temperament and will be a treasure for SA if he continues this form and consistency. He aint a slogger or power hitter so #3 suits him well than #5 or #6. He can play long innings and thats what you want from your one down. He is a perfect candidate to replace Kallis at the top. AB's class needs no mention as the world knows who he is. Another classy knock from a world class player. SA batting unit is gelling well together finally after lot of experimentation and failures. If David Miller starts to fire in #6, then this SA unit will turn world beaters. Overall a great victory and everyone can enjoy thoroughly with the way they achieved this. Wonderful performance Proteas. Proud to be a fan!! Keep rocking!!!

  • on August 28, 2014, 2:44 GMT

    always and always loves to see Aus loose, especially in high run chases...

  • on August 28, 2014, 2:40 GMT

    what a wondeful run chase.. something to learn for Pakistan

  • caldruid on August 28, 2014, 2:05 GMT

    ABD again. I wonder if there has been any series where he has not averaged 25 at least. Outstanding player. Kohli needs to learn how to bat patiently in tests. Otherwise there will always be a large gap between these 2 players.

  • landl47 on August 28, 2014, 1:57 GMT

    These look like the two WC finalists to me, provided the draw doesn't match them up earlier. Good effort by SA, but Australia are missing some key players. However, Aus does need to find someone who can take pace off the ball.

    It should be interesting to watch how this series develops.

  • runout49 on August 28, 2014, 1:40 GMT

    Doherty is the best on day bowler in Australia. He should always be the first choice.

  • ZkAneela on August 28, 2014, 1:39 GMT

    Great innings by my AB..Just love watching AB bat..and BTW AB averages over 60 against the aussies at strike rate of 95...

  • xtrafalgarx on August 28, 2014, 1:33 GMT

    So what have we learned from that game? The SA batsmen can also be just as explosive. A lot of people were saying Australia has more 'power', what is that exactly? They hit bigger sixes? It only needs to get over the rope and it's still the same amount of runs. Substance over style please.

    It;s good to see Finch maturing, he has solidified his place. For me. M. Marsh is a long, long way from being a starter in this side. He is so stiff legged, he is a sitting duck for spinners. Hughes didn't disgrace himself at all. Smith's place in the side, despite all the support, for me is hard to justify. He is still a bit bits and pieces in this format for me. Out ODI bowling is disgraceful. We bowl so many bad balls consistently and have been chased down while defending big totals far too many times recently for it to be bad luck.

    Lots of work to do for the think tank.

  • Steven_Scott on August 28, 2014, 1:10 GMT

    Finch has turned out to be one big match winner. Really happy for him. our bowling unit once again fails to defend a target greater than 325 and we are becoming used to it now- over rated bowlers good only on tracks assisting fast bowlers. We have lacked an international quality spinner in ANY format after Warnie (Pup was probably the best of the lot but he doesn't take bowing seriously enough). As for Steve Smith, he took a good 5 years to figure out whether he is a bowler, an all rounder or a batsman in test cricket, hope it doesn't take him another 5 in limited overs. Do we really have spots for bits and pieces players like Smith in our team?

  • Shaggy076 on August 28, 2014, 0:49 GMT

    A lot of comments on how flat a wicket it was, I only watched the Australian innings from 30 overs on and the first 12 overs of Australia, but there was quite a bit of variable bounce. A lot of Richardson's cutters had trampoline bounce. It didn't look like your run of the mill road. The batting was outstanding on both sides and there was quite a lot of average bowling. When your chasing 327 all you can do is go out and play your shots and hope for your best and teams going out with that attitude are starting to win a high percentage because the bowlers don't seem to know what to do under this pressure. Just on a side note didn't see AB bat but it was the first time I saw him captain and I thought he was outstanding a lot more inventive than Graeme Smith. Bowling Imran Tahir late in the innings keeping a slip in, it looked like he could keep it under 300 for a while until Parnell and McLaren each chipped in with a very average over.

  • MeijiMura on August 28, 2014, 0:27 GMT

    It was a bizarre decision by the Australian selectors to leave Lyon out of the side. His non-selection left Australia without a frontline spinner and an attack more suited to the WACA in Perth than Harare's slow, batting-friendly surface. If Australia are to beat South Africa in this series then they'll have to go in with Lyon. You're not going to intimidate South Africa with a battery of pacemen on Harare's slow, placid pitches.

  • on August 27, 2014, 23:34 GMT

    SA are a quality team. Don't see the sense in leaving out Lyon.

  • dunger.bob on August 27, 2014, 23:32 GMT

    Yep, credit where it's due and you've got to give it to the Saffers here. Chasing down a hefty total with 20 balls to spare is a brilliant effort. They made it look easy and that's one of the biggest compliments I can dispense. When you make something that should be quite difficult look ridiculously easy you know you've played a great game.

    Still, hopefully we'll get you next time.

  • heathrf1974 on August 27, 2014, 23:12 GMT

    Fine win by the Saffers. This will improve their belief in the upcoming World Cup.

  • on August 27, 2014, 23:06 GMT

    Clint McKay and Adam Voges should consider themselves pretty hard done by. Not sure why they bothered to drop Xavier Doherty if they're not even going to play Nathan Lyon.

    I like Steve Smith and you know they want him to be an all formats player for obvious reasons but was he really doing that much to demand Voges (avg: 45) spot?

    He and Big Show as one day bowlers? Not so sold on that. Watson/Marsh needed for that fifth bowling option makes it hard to contemplate where Pup and Warner are going to find spots. Maxwell's gotta play for his batting, one of Watson or Mitchell Marsh have to play for the all rounder spot, Warner could bat at 3, or more likely Phil Hughes gets dropped again (lol).

    My Tentative World Cup XI:

    Finch Hughes Warner Watson Clarke Bailey Haddin Faulkner Johnson McKay O'Keefe (I don't ignore his existence like some).

  • SurlyCynic on August 27, 2014, 23:04 GMT

    @Greatest _Game: Just want to say I always enjoy your comments, keep up the good work.

  • AltafPatel on August 27, 2014, 22:05 GMT

    they could have easily chased down 350+ target as well !

  • AltafPatel on August 27, 2014, 22:03 GMT

    This team looks well balanced, and a go-for world cup.

  • AltafPatel on August 27, 2014, 22:01 GMT

    Faf proved Kallis's retirement was not in vein.

  • slazenger on August 27, 2014, 21:59 GMT

    SA/Aussie front runners for the next world cup. Good luck this very good cricket indeed. I would like these two teams in the final or at least Semi in the next world cup.

  • Jama on August 27, 2014, 21:53 GMT

    only if South Africa could finish the business in 1999 and 2007 world cup Semis against Australia just like this.

    I do not understand what happens to their determination in the world cup.

    Unfortunately Thats what makes Australia he best team in the world because they win when it matters and South Africa loses when it matters the most.

  • VivGilchrist on August 27, 2014, 21:51 GMT

    Is it just me or has Faulkner really regressed as a bowler over the last 12 months? Also Australia without McKay seem to have lost the steady option. All through the teams they've always had the Alderman, Whitney, Fleming, Reiffel, Bracken, style in the line up and now they seem to be going all out attack, they find it difficult to clamp teams down if the wickets don't come. Just an observation.....

  • Greatest_Game on August 27, 2014, 21:32 GMT

    Parnell must be the most dangerous player in the world - dangerous to his own team, that is! He has moments of brilliance, scattered amoungst loose, inconsistent, & expensive bowling. He has taken 5/47 at Lords, yet can leak runs like a sieve. His 0 for 66 at econ 9.42 today are his worst ODI bowling figs. He is never reliable, & seems to get more erratic match by match, & his batting is not worth much either. SA just cant afford him - plain & simple. Even Duminy - not picked for his bowling - is more economical. Every other Saffa bowler has significantly better career figs. It was time to give up on him a while ago - he has not delivered on his promise. Give Shezi & Abbot a decent run!

    For all the Faf du Plessis detractors, since Nov, 2013 he has consistently batted at #3, & now averages 53 in that position. The "Faf Watch at Number 3" will continue, but one thing is certain: the Aussies must be hoping he'll be dropped!

  • on August 27, 2014, 21:10 GMT

    When will the Australian cricket fraternity learn that 300+ is vanilla-flavoured these days and everyone can do it. They build these innings slowly leaving way too much for the big hitting late innings people to do. Started blasting way too late in the innings. On another note, how much more might they have made if the set Bailey hadn't been sent on his way by a whim. How far away does the ball have to be from the bat before it is deemed to have been missed?

  • cric_lover_1991 on August 27, 2014, 20:02 GMT

    dear our indian fans if you want to blame then blame the zim cricket board for preparing this track not SA or AUS because they are playing on neutral venue means that pitch belongs to neither SA nor AUS in our india we are preparing our own support pitches which are not helpful to fast bowlers even spin also helpless on our pitches in odi's how many times in ind vs aus series 16+ wk falls

  • keepingtestcricketreal on August 27, 2014, 19:49 GMT

    These days it is simple a 300/340 score will get run down by any team unless you take at least 5 wickets by the 30th over

  • Greatest_Game on August 27, 2014, 19:45 GMT

    @ Jagger posted this scantily researched comment: "Amla in ODI's vs Australia prior to today: 9 Innings, Average 35.25 at a Strike Rate of 74.21. I thought you said he was good."

    @ Jagger failed to mention that Amla was fastest to 2000, 3000, & 4000 ODI runs, & needs 527 runs over 22 innings to own the 5000 run record! Amla heads the ICC ODI rankings, & his ave of 55.22 is the HIGHEST EVER of any full-member nation's players.* He is one of only two openers in the top ten (10+ inngs,) with a disproportionately low percentage of average boosting "not-out" innings. Amla has been not-out in 8% of innings. Next on the list, Michael Beven, averaged 53.58, not-out in 34% of innings!

    @ Jagger, do some REAL research before you bash the Hash! Those stats don't lie!

    Interestingly, the other opener in the top ten is Amla's current opening partner, Quinton de Kock.

    *ten Doeschate has an overall higher ave, but 75% of his inngs were against associates. Against full members he averages 32.38.

  • on August 27, 2014, 19:37 GMT

    Congrats to SA as fantastic chase , I predicted earlier that both teams would hit 300 , just a shame they are not showing this series in the UK so missed Finch getting his ton , then the AB show who when he plays like this is untouchable. Sometimes you just have to take your hat off and say just been beaten on the day by a better team. Plenty of cricket still to go.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on August 27, 2014, 19:37 GMT

    As a neutral, it's scary and exhilarating at the same time to watch these two strong teams scrap against each other. On a positive I suppose, it's refreshing to see that even great bowlers can be clobbered for runs sometimes. On a negative, I think I'll skip the future games involving either of these teams against England.

  • Chris_P on August 27, 2014, 19:30 GMT

    @Proudly_SA.47. Our friend also forgot to mention he played on smaller grounds & flatter pitches, but who worries about the little details.

  • RoyRulez on August 27, 2014, 19:27 GMT

    Great to see SA chase down a big total... But bowling will remain a big concern... Parnell proved to be very expensive... so did McLaren and Morne!!! SA can't play Kyle for Wayne as that will mean a tail starting at No. 8 (most teams these days bat till 9 and even 10)... Vern for Wayne would mean one death bowler less!!! The only solution is Morne Morkel has to improve his death bowling!!!

  • Chris_P on August 27, 2014, 19:25 GMT

    Good effort by the Boks, clinical & showed why they are always a danger in this format. @Swan_Draught. Actually, FInch probably needs to get selected first for Victoria THEN have a season of consistent scoring. @TheBigBoodha If you had watched Smith's progress in the Shield from 2011 to 2013 you would have seen that he was scoring a lot of runs & had worked on his technique. He was the most consistent batsman along with Rogers in that period, hardly obscure my friend. Warner, FC, obscure, but was pretty well known as a short format specialist.

  • edgie on August 27, 2014, 19:20 GMT

    my only concern re the proteas final world cup squad is the third seamer/all rounder. Parnell has blown hot/cold, that is not reliable, and McLaren does much the same. Philander needs to be given a go, and think he is a better option, as his batting is decent, though not sure if better than McLaren's batting. Phangiso needs to be given more oppertunies, and what about Marchant De Lange as cover for Steyn/Morkel? the batting loks solid, though I wonder who can cover for the top 4 should they get injured... some questions for Domingo to ponder on me thinks...

  • Chris_P on August 27, 2014, 19:20 GMT

    @gsingh7. Well well, looks who's returned after hiding away for so long! Where were you when SA beat India, and when NZ beat them & the England test series? India, a better bowling unit! Interesting.

  • on August 27, 2014, 19:15 GMT

    In today's Cricket, first there's AB and then some 24 other alphabets way behind!!! He's the Rambo of today's cricket - He'll gun down an army of bowlers anywhere across the globe... He's South Africa's hit man for all seasons and cricket world's prized possession... What extraordinary talent and skill he possesses - his shots are unbelievable and yet clinically executed to destroy. If you're talking champion cricket, it's gotta be AB ... The rest of the 24 alphabets are lagging way behind... VK isn't even on the radar :)

  • edgie on August 27, 2014, 19:13 GMT

    @HennopsRiverEnd, thanks for sharing that, sure that will put to rest who is better player from either side... and what's more, Starc was put to the sword, and Johnson didn't look at his best at all. and the way Zimbabwe players are being treated like naughty little school children by their coach, I only the Zims as cannon fodder/match practise i'm afraid...

  • 2nd_Slip on August 27, 2014, 19:09 GMT

    Business as usual, thrashing Aussies in a high scoring ODI match has become a mere formality for us Proteas .AB de Villiers is the best batsman across all formats, head and shoulders above anyone else who has played Test,ODI and T20 international cricket. Must say I was very shocked at Fafs wonderful batting, I am eating humble pie at the moment. De Lange for Morkel and Rilee for Faf(unless we are playing Australia lol)

  • Batmanian on August 27, 2014, 19:01 GMT

    Impressive stuff from the RSA bats. On the big Australian grounds, the equations are a little different, but you do need two or three bowlers who can keep the run-rate down more often than not. I'm not seeing that from this Australian battery (nor from RSA's either, really).

  • on August 27, 2014, 18:55 GMT

    What is clinical about chasing 317 against Australia. I'm sorry, but perpetually labelling SA as clinical is doing the Proteas a disservice. AB De Villiers is nothing short of flamboyant genius, and Faf is pure grit. This was not a clinical performance with the ball either - you said so yourself, with Tahir the only one applying the brakes, and Parnell and co straying off line. This was a great batting display after an average bowling display. Nothing clinical about it.

  • b.l.a.c.k.j.a.c.k on August 27, 2014, 18:51 GMT

    @gsingh : "they might get bogged down against better bowling units like india and wi" boo ha ha ha... lol gsingh ur watching the same cricket we watch???

  • Gareth_Bain on August 27, 2014, 18:49 GMT

    Australia axed their most effective ODI bowler in Clint McCay... That went well!

  • edgie on August 27, 2014, 18:45 GMT

    Excellent result by the Proteas, fully deserved that victory....

  • GermanPlayer on August 27, 2014, 18:43 GMT

    @gsingh7 It's not double standards. A one-off flat track isn't too bad. The problem with Indian tracks and players is not just that they score a hell lot of runs on lifeless tracks but also that as soon as they see a good track they fold, as they did in England on their last tour, Australia and now again in England. That is the primary reason why Indians get criticized about their flat pitches.

    On the other hand, the other teams have much better records in India recently. SO they can play on all sort of tracks. Hence no criticism.

  • HennopsRiverEnd on August 27, 2014, 18:38 GMT

    @Jagger. Clarke's ODI record vs SA: Innings 20, Average 29.21, SR 75.81. I thought he was good too.

  • AB_DeVilliers on August 27, 2014, 18:36 GMT

    Overall not the best display by SA, but got the job done. Few points to take away: Positives - we finally chased a decent total against good opposition; Faf has all but cemented his spot (enjoyed his tempo and the ease at which he rotated the strike); batting in general seems to be going ok. Negatives - No.8 spot is still a question mark, do we go with an out and out 3rd seamer, or with someone who can bat like Philander or Parnell?; Parnell needs to be improve greatly to be the 3rd seamer; death bowling is really shocking, where are the yorkers??; would like to see our lower order batting get tested under pressure chasing (Miller, Mclaren, Parnell/Philander).

  • on August 27, 2014, 18:35 GMT

    If one really wants to enjoy cricket, you only have to watch an Australia and SA encounter. For me the other teams just make up the numbers. Just my view!

  • on August 27, 2014, 18:32 GMT

    @gsingh- 2 corrections to your comment. Indian bowlers will not be good enough on aussie pitches and the current World T20 champions are SL

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on August 27, 2014, 18:28 GMT

    I have no doubt that if this match was played in India or involved India and had India won, comments would be rife - that this is an ultra-small stadium with ultra-short boundaries, that this is a pathetic match, that this is a hopeless flat track, that tracks such as these will kill bowlers, will kill spectators' interest and that these are the matches that are killing cricket - with no regard for facts regarding the boundary size or no appreciation of what it takes to set-up or chase such big totals. Well played Aus and SA. That was a huge total by Australia and SA chased it down comprehensively. Dropped catches proved costly in the end.

  • Living_It on August 27, 2014, 18:26 GMT

    Aus at World cup should be: 1. Watson (clearly still a better batter AND bowler then Marsh) 2. Warner 3. Clarke 4. Bailey 5. Smith 6. Maxwell 7. Faulkner 8. Haddin 9. Johnson 10. Harris 11. Richo (best yorker bowler in aus)

    Finch will struggle on Aus pitches against quality fast bowling (and spin). Also wouldn't give him much credit for his 100 today, because he did it at a low strike rate which is against the whole reason why he was first chosen. Still he is very unlucky to miss out and would be #1 reserve.

    SA at world cup should be (with less headaches over spots): 1. De Kock 2. Amla 3. De Plessis 4. ABD 5. Dumminy 6. Miller 7. ?? (not sold on mclaren) 8. Steyn 9. Abbot 10. Morkel 11. Tahir

  • warneneverchuck on August 27, 2014, 18:23 GMT

    Abd is best batsman post lara and sachin era...he has proved in all formats of the game

  • BuddyCry on August 27, 2014, 18:22 GMT

    How anyone questions Amlas Odi capabilities is beyond me. He is ranked number 1 and scores his runs at a healthy rate. He is fastest to 2000, 3000 and 4000 Odi runs. About to become fastest to 5000.

  • warneneverchuck on August 27, 2014, 18:19 GMT

    No doubt that abd is best batsman of his generation...

  • gsingh7 on August 27, 2014, 18:13 GMT

    what boring wicket for bowlers. if the same match was in india or sl it wud be called flat track and runs donot matter. double standards all round by non asian cricket fans .

  • SripriyaReddy on August 27, 2014, 18:12 GMT

    I was rooting for AB to go big today & guess what? I'm The Happiest ABD/SA fan now! Way to go AB! #ProteaFire

  • No.444 on August 27, 2014, 18:09 GMT

    Well played SA. A really clinical performance. Faf proved most of us here have no clue what we are talking about. I wonder if there are still people out there that debate whether ADdV is the best batsman around at the moment. The Aussies will get better once the cobwebs are gone so the next match will be a better indication of where SA really are. Also, this match has no bearing on the world cup. MJ is usually very ordinary on these types of pitches. He could be a scary monster on more helpful pitches during the WC, provided his form holds - we all wait with baited breath. Also no Warner. Then watch out. Looking forward to the next one.

  • gsingh7 on August 27, 2014, 18:07 GMT

    in last indian tour , aus bowlers were thrashed for 300 plus scores for a number of times. 350 plus to be precise.their bowling cupboards are bare nowadays and if faulkner wud not have intervened, aus might have been whitewashed even in odis in india(they had already lost 4-0 in tests). sa will surely win this tour but in world cup they might get bogged down against better bowling units like india and wi who are current world champions in 50 and 20 over formats, respectively.

  • Greatest_Game on August 27, 2014, 18:03 GMT

    As expected by fans, Australia & South Africa produced yet another hard fought battle and a record or two. Although both had some sloppy moments, neither backed down for a second, & went at it toe to toe. An ODI that sees 3 of the quickest bowlers around taking stick from the batting, including 3 well paced & intelligently played centuries, is definitely not par for the course, but not unexpected from the teams that posted 972 runs in a single ODI - still the record by some 50 runs!

    Unexpected was that a man once beaten to a pulp by Aus - plundered for 260 test runs without a wicket - came back & exacted some revenge, ending Aus' rollicking start by dismissing Hughes & Marsh in quick succession & choking runs with the match's best figs of 2/45. His miserly econ of 4.5 was almost a run better than the match's next best, Steyn's 5.4, & quietly tipped the scales for SA. Imran Tahir certainly can take a licking & keep on ticking, & today can also take a modest, but well-earned bow.

  • LK-LadyCric on August 27, 2014, 17:58 GMT

    What a game. AB you beauty! Congratulations to South Africa on a tremendous win! :D #SriLankanFan.

  • Proudly_SA.47 on August 27, 2014, 17:49 GMT

    @Jagger Alma's overall ODI record. 91 matches average55.22, SR89.96, 100's 15, 50's 23. In his 89th match, Hashim Amla became the fastest cricketer to reach 15 centuries in ODI's. No his not good, he's great!!! Sachin Tendulkar ODI's against Australia: Mathches67 average42.23, SR85.12. He too wasn't that great against Australia but yet he is considered the greatest of all time. So I really don't get what your point is.

  • xtrafalgarx on August 27, 2014, 17:42 GMT

    Dear, oh dear. What to do with our ODI bowling line up? We have failed to defend big totals too many times in recent times for it to be bad luck.

  • gimme-a-greentop on August 27, 2014, 17:36 GMT

    Interesting game of cricket. The Australian batting is going to challenge everyone come the world cup. SA would have been stuffed without Tahir - shows his value in ODI cricket. AB is just impossible - even though they dropped 2 absolute sitters, that was incredible batting, especially as he was cramping up so badly. The debate about Faf should die down for a bit. I have always wanted AB to bat 3, but well done all the same. What do we know?

  • mrmonty on August 27, 2014, 17:35 GMT

    Dont' want to jinx SA, but they are primed for the World Cup. Hope they don't get knocked out this time, too.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on August 27, 2014, 17:35 GMT

    Great effort to chase down 327 against the best team in the world. Top line batting. Parnell needs to be dropped ASAP and replaced with De Lange, Abbot or Shezi. His days of letting us down with inconsistency and poor bowling should surely now be over.

  • t20cric on August 27, 2014, 17:34 GMT

    Good job to SA. Faf is starting to prove himself otherwise as a neutral fan I was thinking Faf should have been dropped. I know SA has a lot of talent & I was sure they could find someone better than Faf but after this innings I guess they don't need to. Worrying signs for Australia as they haven't defended 300+ again just like they couldn't back in India last year. I think Australia need spinners cuz if you saw Pak vs SL match yesterday then in both innings the spinners came in & made an impact. I think Australia should learn from SL how to defend 300 against a competitive team & Pakistan should learn from SA how to chase 300+ against a competitive team. As a Pakistani fan I think Fawad could have played like Faf & Sohaib could have played like AB if they were in the right batting positions and Umar could have played JP's role. If there was a collapse then Misbah would have been there. That way Pakistan would have won yesterday.

  • mrmonty on August 27, 2014, 17:34 GMT

    ABD, the best batter in the world; all formats.

  • CricketChat on August 27, 2014, 17:28 GMT

    I am happy that for once, FAF proved me wrong. I anticipated he will be a stumbling block in SA's chase. This time, he played the perfect foil to ABD at the same time scoring at over 100% rate.

  • Proudly_SA.47 on August 27, 2014, 17:22 GMT

    Alma a test batsmen? With an average of over 50 in ODI? Lol that's so laughable. Hashim Amla & AB de Villiers are now the only batsmen in international cricket to average over 50 with the bat in both Tests & ODIs

  • its.rachit on August 27, 2014, 17:16 GMT

    Had this match involved India or was played in India, this would have been termed a useless ODI played on an absolute road ... but this is SA vs Australia ... even if both teams make 500,the match would be a gem ...

  • on August 27, 2014, 17:15 GMT

    Amla and Ab now only current players to avg 50 plus in tests and odi's

  • on August 27, 2014, 17:08 GMT

    SA had the last laugh with AB and du plessis demolishing the aussies. great win but they have a big work to correct its bowling as its already exposed

  • Aroundthelegsgoogly on August 27, 2014, 17:08 GMT

    SA show how its done.

  • on August 27, 2014, 15:56 GMT

    good game aus and Sa. well done to the boys.australia no need to slag sa off. amla test batsmen. australia bowlers kept quite all gane.haha

  • B.C.G on August 27, 2014, 15:30 GMT

    Great chase.Always a nice feeling to beat Oz.Faf has answered some of his critics well.I still feel a lower order of Miller,Parnell & McLaren is very shaky & prone to choking any time.

  • Sbora on August 27, 2014, 15:14 GMT

    Nice innings frm Faf du Plesis

  • Jagger on August 27, 2014, 14:17 GMT

    Amla in ODI's vs Australia prior to today: 9 Innings, Average 35.25 at a Strike Rate of 74.21. I thought you said he was good.

  • Biggus on August 27, 2014, 14:13 GMT

    @hyclass:- I would say quoting first class stats as proof that he will make lots of runs in tests in England has little basis in fact. When he makes a mountain of runs in tests in England you will be correct, until then it's just a theory. Frankly I think he will always struggle against the moving ball. There's no need to be haughty.

  • Swan_Draught on August 27, 2014, 14:00 GMT

    @xtrafalgarx Let Finch actually play a shield season for Victoria without being a liability first. Averages less than Michael Hogan with the bat over the last three seasons.

  • on August 27, 2014, 13:55 GMT

    Fair to say either team will win the World Cup with these bowlers and this sort of bowling , as pretty ordinary to say the least.

  • hyclass on August 27, 2014, 13:49 GMT

    I note with some interest, that Hughes' last 1st Class innings vs India A - a country renowned for spinners - a few weeks ago, was a 100 not out and that he scored 58 and 51 in the two List A games he played against them. I also note that in his last 1st class game against Sth Africa A, Harmer and Leie -an off spinner and leg spinner with 204 wickets at 33 and 176 wickets at 26 respectively, bowled a total of 78 overs against him without taking his wicket. He scored 1 x 100 and 2 x 200's all unbeaten, averaging over 100 in both List A and 1st Class games, this series and 2 x 100's and 204 in 4 1st Class games last season. As for the Doug Walter's analogy @ Biggus, it has no basis in fact. In '09, before joining The Ashes squad, he made almost 600 runs for Middlesex in 3 games at over 120, to follow his SA form. As his mentor de Costa tells it, 'he was forced to prepare in a way that wasn't suited to he or his game'. That was the source of over 4 years of struggle - nothing else.

  • on August 27, 2014, 12:37 GMT

    Saffers shud win this its unlikely you can defend any total on this ground against a decent batting lineup and Proteas are more than decent

  • lillee4PM on August 27, 2014, 12:25 GMT

    Ha ha, Amla garrrrn! Take that Safas!

  • TheBigBoodha on August 27, 2014, 12:04 GMT

    @xtrafalgarx, the problem is they have slip fielders and ball movement in first class and tests. A lot of very good short format players don't cut it in the longer form for that very reason - look at Bailey.

    Having said that, we seem to have picked a few guys out of obscurity lately and turned them into good test cricketers - e.g. Smith and Warner.

    Sorry if my comment about Hughes seems harsh. But he does seem almost lower-grade cricket standard when he faces spin sometimes. If I was the opposition, I'd just open with spin when he comes in.

  • on August 27, 2014, 12:02 GMT

    I said it in a previous article after the last match SA vs ZIM - Parnell is not consistent and Morkel bowls too short. Neither should be in the team. De Lange and Abbott could not do possibly do any worse!

  • rickyvoncanterbury on August 27, 2014, 11:55 GMT

    327, great score, well done Finch I thought he was in trouble early, I have not seen such undisciplined bowling from the Saffers since, well ever, so it is hard to judge but I think 320 should be plenty. @ xtrafalgarx, Yes I agree it does not matter who, but I did not say anyone cared who.

  • xtrafalgarx on August 27, 2014, 11:38 GMT

    On a side note, here is a big one for you guys to think about. I think Finch just might be ready for - bear with me - Test cricket. He seems to have matured and now knows how to build an innings. He averaged 48 in the county championship, scored the big 180 in the MCC game and has scored 4 hundreds already at ODI's. With three 50's, it's safe to say he goes on when he gets in more often than not.

    We can't wait for him to build a good FC record, because that's not going to happen, we might have to, as Gillespie said, forget about his FC record and look at him as a player and person. He is a big personality in the dressing room and a good leader. For me he will end up leading the ODI and T20 sides for Australia.

    I don't know, he might do okay at no.6

  • rickyvoncanterbury on August 27, 2014, 11:36 GMT

    Hard to gauge I don't think I have seen such undisciplined bowling from a saffer outfit for a long time, but I will stick my neck out and say I have seen enough to say 320 is plenty .

  • xtrafalgarx on August 27, 2014, 11:33 GMT

    @Rickyvoncanterbury: Not really man. That's why there is 11 players in a side. It's not about who is getting the runs it's about the team winning. They wouldn't care as long as Australia win, 327 is a good score, who cares what Maxwell got.

  • on August 27, 2014, 11:31 GMT

    The difference Australia showed against South Africa that of Zimbabwe is just 23 runs!

  • missionbegins2011 on August 27, 2014, 11:26 GMT

    Want SA to win but 327 is too much. Would be surprised it they manage to get past it.

  • xtrafalgarx on August 27, 2014, 11:24 GMT

    I'm impressed by our boys. Bailey got a rough decision, Maxwell missed out but we were still able to get to 327. The South African's bar Tahir and Morkel weren't quite up to scratch.

  • Biggus on August 27, 2014, 10:55 GMT

    Good fightback by SA. Game on. De Kock's keeping has been a little bit sloppy.@TheBigBoodha:- Yep, Hughes isn't a good player of spin but I thought he did the right thing. He could have played for his place but he had a go as we would have expected him to.

  • rickyvoncanterbury on August 27, 2014, 10:51 GMT

    can any game bring you back to earth like cricket, 2 days ago Maxwell and Marsh were the hero's today they don't make double figures

  • TheBigBoodha on August 27, 2014, 10:13 GMT

    Strange decision to leave out Lyon. Looks like the kind of track that would be difficult to score off spinners. Mind you, maybe Phil Hughes just made it look like that. He has got to be the worst player of spin in world cricket - and I include tail enders in that category!

  • on August 27, 2014, 8:46 GMT

    this IS SA s best XI where depending upon the pitch they can swap tahir for philander/kyle Abbott/marchant De Lange come WC 2015... it will be interesting to see how they go in this match .... they ve also got some good bench strength... go SA

  • Biggus on August 27, 2014, 8:30 GMT

    Glad to see Hughes recalled, and that he's being positive and aggressive. I'm going to stick my neck out (not all that much really) and predict he'll be recalled to the test side against India and have a massive summer. I think he's going to be a little like Doug Walters in that I suspect he'll always struggle in England, but on flatter surfaces will do well. We're that to happen it would solve all sorts of problems for us. One can only hope.

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  • Biggus on August 27, 2014, 8:30 GMT

    Glad to see Hughes recalled, and that he's being positive and aggressive. I'm going to stick my neck out (not all that much really) and predict he'll be recalled to the test side against India and have a massive summer. I think he's going to be a little like Doug Walters in that I suspect he'll always struggle in England, but on flatter surfaces will do well. We're that to happen it would solve all sorts of problems for us. One can only hope.

  • on August 27, 2014, 8:46 GMT

    this IS SA s best XI where depending upon the pitch they can swap tahir for philander/kyle Abbott/marchant De Lange come WC 2015... it will be interesting to see how they go in this match .... they ve also got some good bench strength... go SA

  • TheBigBoodha on August 27, 2014, 10:13 GMT

    Strange decision to leave out Lyon. Looks like the kind of track that would be difficult to score off spinners. Mind you, maybe Phil Hughes just made it look like that. He has got to be the worst player of spin in world cricket - and I include tail enders in that category!

  • rickyvoncanterbury on August 27, 2014, 10:51 GMT

    can any game bring you back to earth like cricket, 2 days ago Maxwell and Marsh were the hero's today they don't make double figures

  • Biggus on August 27, 2014, 10:55 GMT

    Good fightback by SA. Game on. De Kock's keeping has been a little bit sloppy.@TheBigBoodha:- Yep, Hughes isn't a good player of spin but I thought he did the right thing. He could have played for his place but he had a go as we would have expected him to.

  • xtrafalgarx on August 27, 2014, 11:24 GMT

    I'm impressed by our boys. Bailey got a rough decision, Maxwell missed out but we were still able to get to 327. The South African's bar Tahir and Morkel weren't quite up to scratch.

  • missionbegins2011 on August 27, 2014, 11:26 GMT

    Want SA to win but 327 is too much. Would be surprised it they manage to get past it.

  • on August 27, 2014, 11:31 GMT

    The difference Australia showed against South Africa that of Zimbabwe is just 23 runs!

  • xtrafalgarx on August 27, 2014, 11:33 GMT

    @Rickyvoncanterbury: Not really man. That's why there is 11 players in a side. It's not about who is getting the runs it's about the team winning. They wouldn't care as long as Australia win, 327 is a good score, who cares what Maxwell got.

  • rickyvoncanterbury on August 27, 2014, 11:36 GMT

    Hard to gauge I don't think I have seen such undisciplined bowling from a saffer outfit for a long time, but I will stick my neck out and say I have seen enough to say 320 is plenty .