Zimbabwe A Team Tri-Series, final July 8, 2011

Australia take title in thriller

ESPNcricinfo staff

Australia A 293 for 6 (Hughes 138, Warner 120, van der Merwe 3-58) beat South Africa A 291 (Rudolph 90, van Jaarsveld 70, Mash 4-56) by two runs

Australia A registered a thrilling two-run win against South Africa A in the final of the Zimbabwe A Team Tri-Series in Harare, in a game that initially swung both ways and then seemed to be headed in South Africa's direction towards the end, before wickets off the last two balls sealed it for Australia.

Choosing to bat, Australia were off to a fine start, with their openers David Warner and Philip Hughes putting on 206 in 37.3 overs. Both completed centuries, with Hughes outscoring his partner in a run-a-ball 138, but the rest of the line-up failed to build on the start, as Australia stumbled from 206 for no loss to 293 for 6 at the end of their 50 overs. Roelof van der Merwe finished with the best figures, 3 for 58, though Justin Ontong was the most economical, conceding 36 runs in 10.

South Africa's chase began with a steady 68-run opening partnership, with in-form opener Jacques Rudolph going on to make 90, before he was run out. After a mini-collapse - South Africa went from 163 for 3 to 175 for 6 - the chase seemed back on track with Vaughn van Jaarsveld, who scored 70, combining with Vernon Philander for a 78-run stand.

However, Mitchell Marsh removed both batsmen off consecutive balls, helping Australia get a foot in the door. In the final over, bowled by Marsh, South Africa required 15 runs to win but only managed to score 12 from the first four balls and required three from the last two. Marsh bowled Kleinveldt on the fifth and Rusty Theron was run out on the last ball to give Australia a thrilling win.