Australia ease past SA
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP):Australia beat South Africa by 62 runs in their triangular series one-day international (ODI) yesterday as Mitchell Marsh served up a match-winning display with bat and ball.
The big victory stopped Australia's mini-slump of two straight losses and put them into Saturday's final of the three-team tournament at Harare Sports Club. Zimbabwe need to beat South Africa by a large margin tomorrow to prevent an Australia-South Africa decider.
All-rounder Marsh changed the game with the bat, hitting 86 from only 51 balls with seven sixes to lift Australia to 282-7, batting first. He then took two wickets and the game-ending catch as South Africa fell to 220 all out, despite 126 by Faf du Plessis.
Du Plessis fought a lone battle in the chase with the next highest South African score 24 by No. 7 Ryan McLaren. Du Plessis might have threatened the total, but stood on his own stumps in the 42nd over to be out hit wicket, a rare form of dismissal and a bitter disappointment for Du Plessis after his 126 off 109 balls with eight fours and six sixes.
It wasn't enough to overshadow Marsh and the Australians.
Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc all took two wickets each as Australia claimed a bonus-point win to reach the final, an immediate turnaround after losing to Zimbabwe for the first time in 31 years over the weekend. That Zimbabwe loss took Australia sliding from No. 1 in the ODI rankings to No. 4, but they roared back with a convincing win.