SA too good for Aussies in final
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP):
Faf du Plessis led South Africa to a six-wicket win over Australia in the final of the one-day international tri-series at Harare Sports Club yesterday.
Du Plessis hit 96 from 99 balls and just missed out on his fourth century in five innings in the tournament as South Africa chased down Australia's mediocre total of 217 for nine with nearly 10 overs to spare to take the triangular title.
Du Plessis was caught at mid-on off what turned out to be the penultimate delivery of the game. He was going for a boundary that would have taken him to another century and sealed South Africa's victory.
Instead, AB de Villiers hit a four next ball to win the series and finish 57 not out from just 41 balls, having hit six fours to take the Proteas home.
Fast bowler Dale Steyn set up the win with his four for 34 as Australia wilted to 144 for eight and needed a ninth-wicket stand of 71 between tailenders James Faulkner (39) and Mitchell Starc (29 not out) to approach a respectable score.
Steyn did the damage, removing Phil Hughes early, fellow opener Aaron Finch for 54 and the middle order of Glenn Maxwell and Brad Haddin cheaply.
He was backed up by seamers Wayne Parnell and Morne Morkel, who took two wickets each.
Hashim Amla hit a half-century in South Africa's reply, but Du Plessis was outstanding and the anchor again, collecting eight fours and a six for his 96, another match-winning innings following his three centuries in South Africa's four league games earlier in the series.
Du Plessis came into the tournament without an ODI hundred but made up with a rich run of form to help topple Australia from No. 1 in the ODI rankings.
None of the Australian bowlers claimed more than one wicket as South Africa took advantage of winning the toss and choosing to bat second on a Harare pitch that's renowned for flattening out later in the day.