November 20, 2014
Australia blasted their way to victory in the 3rd ODI in Canberra.
The decisive game in the ODI series between Australia and South Africa has taken place in Canberra. Aaron Finch & AB De Villiers both acknowledged before the game that this was a crucial match in the series.
So Finch would have been happy enough when he won the toss and decided to bat. Being in a good mood already Finch would have been delighted to get the start the Aussies got. Not only did he achieve a good start with fellow opener David Warner (53) he also went on to record a century which would left him over the moon.
Finch departed on 109 after being bowled by him counterpart De Villiers. Watson (40) and Steve Smith (73*) both put on respectable partnerships with the Aussies captain and the innings looked in good hands.
South Africa’s fielding was in a league of its own at times, especially when off a Morne Morkel over FAF De Plessis not once but twice raised the bar.
Firstly it was off a Steve Smith blow that was sailing over his head he jumped as high as he could before clawing the ball back within the ropes while his body fell the over side. Two balls later Smith went big again but not connecting this time, he sprinted in to attempt the catch and stuck out a hand more in desperation than anything and clinging on. Only to find out afterwards it was in fact a no ball.
After the middle order continued playing aggressively Australia put together a total of 329-5. Something they would have been happy with if you would have offered it at the start.
South Africa had other ideas and the way they started was proof of the pudding. Quinton De Kock (47) & the ever reliable Hashim Amla put on a 1st wicket partnership of 108 and things looked to be going according to plan.
Then De Kock got a top edge from a pull shot and was caught at short man by Mitch Marsh. He was quickly followed by Faf De Plessis (17) who went for the big shot and was caught on the boundary at square leg. Roussouw (2) came and went getting a feather of an edge through to Matthew Wade off the bowling of Mitch Starc.
This brought the number one batsman in ODI cricket to the crease AB De Villers and he didn’t waste any time getting on top of the bowling. He raced to a 52 off 34 balls with a fluster of boundaries. Hashim Amla (102) brought up his hundred the very next ball with an exquisite pull shot.
Things were looking good for South Africa until Richardson & Hazelwood dismissed both batters shortly afterward. De Villiers went to an LBW decision that was referred upstairs and ended up being pretty plumb. Amla was bowled playing a fancy drive off Hazelwood.
David Miller (3) departed after being adjusted LBW off Starc but replays showed he was a little unlucky in the end as the ball was sliding down the leg side. With no reviews Miller had to walk off and accept the decision.
There was little resistance from the rest of the team as no one could handle Mitchell Starc who bowled out of his skin taking 4-32 in his 8 overs. He ran through the tail to put the game to bed leaving South Africa trailing the Aussies by 73 runs.
AB De Villiers wasn’t happy with his total of 256 declaring he needed his batters to be more clinical and apply themselves to bat longer to give themselves a chance.
We will see how much of this they’ve taken on board tomorrow morning when the 4th ODI takes place in Melbourne.
Only change we know about will be Mitch Marsh out, as he is joining up with his domestic squad for some 4 day cricket. The reason for this will be because Australia will want him to play some red ball cricket before the test series against India next month.
Will Glenn Maxell come back in for the ODI in his home town?