Albie Morkel powers South Africa to victory against Australia

January 23rd, 2009 - 8:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Jan 23 (IANS) Albie Morkel scored 40 in 22 balls to power South Africa to a three-wicket win over Australia in the third One-day International cricket at the Sydney Cricket Ground here Friday.Chasing Australia’s 269, South Africa were five for 163 before Morkel and Mark Boucher (31 not out) led the recovery and saw the team through with 21 balls to spare.

South Africa now lead the five-match series 2-1 with the highest successful chase at this venue.

Electing to bat first, Australia’s innings revolved around new sensation David Warner’s 60-ball 69 and Shaun Marsh’s 43.

The two openers smashed 114 in 113 balls to set the foundation of big score but Australian middle-order crumbled to hand over the advantage.

Warner, who hogged limelight having blasted 89 on his T20 International, proved he was not a one-match wonder. Playing for the first time at home, Warner showed no pressure as he went after the bowling with some clean strikes. His 60-ball knock had six fours and two sixes.

Marsh, on the other hand, played the second fiddle to Warner and hit four fours.

But Australia lost the plot after their fall as wickets kept tumbling at regular interval. David Hussey (36) and James Hopes (33) provided resistance but there was no big partnership and Australia folded up in 49.2 overs. For South Africa Johan Botha took three for 32.

The visitors got off to a good start as Herschelle Gibbs (64) and Jacques Kallis (60) added 96 runs after the fall of Hashim Amla.

Gibbs played an entertaining knock, racing to 64 from 52 deliveries with 10 fours as he attempts to re-establish his place in the side. Kallis dropped anchor at the other end.

Gibbs was fortunate to be dropped by a diving David Hussey at backward point in the first over. He fell to Mitchell Johnson and South Africa soon lost couple of quick wickets to stare down the barrell.

Kallis held the fort after Gibbs’ dismissal. He became the eighth man and the first South African to reach 10,000 runs in the one-day international.

Kallis edged Shaun Tait behind and South Africa were five down for 163. Neil McKenzie was run out on 27 after adding 46 runs with Mark Boucher.

Morkel took the attack to the opposition with some clean strikes, hitting six fours before falling just short of taking South Africa past victory target.

The last powerplay, that haunted Australia in the first One-dayer, once again did the trick for South Africa as Morkel and Boucher took 41 runs in five overs beginning at the start of the 41st over.

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