It was the final of the triangular series between the two giants of World Cricket at the moment, Australia and South Africa. It was no wonder that the final was going to be a cracker of a game. None of the teams could be called as favourites prior to the start of the game. But Australia were comparatively more confident of the two teams as they thrashed South Africa in their last encounter on the same ground a few days back. South Africa won the toss and their captain, AB De Villiers opted to field first.
It was Aaron Finch and Phil Hughes who opened the innings for the Aussies while the speedster, Dale Steyn started off proceedings for the Proteas. Steyn looked dangerous right from the first ball that he bowled and the entire South African team were charged up to the fullest. Both Hughes and Finch were tested initially by the deadly pace of Steyn. And in the 5th over of the innings, Steyn struck for South Africa. Hughes was caught in the hands of De Villiers. Steve Smith came in next and he started to build a partnership with Finch but this time it was Wayne Parnell, who proved to be deadly for Smith. Smith was dismissed by Parnell in the 9th over of the innings. Then Finch and the skipper, Bailey started building a partnership and were steadying the innings. They had not much problems in scoring as the frontline pacers of South Africa had finished their initial spells. Imran Tahir was bowling from one end and in the 19th over, he bowled an unplayable googly to Bailey and Bailey found no clue of the ball and was bowled. Thus the third wicket of the Australians fell this way. After the third wicket fell, it was Mitchell Marsh and Finch who progressed with the innings. Finch was looking impressive with the bat. He played decent strokes and looked to score a big knock. But he was dismissed by the speedster, Steyn in the 29th over of the innings and thus Finch returned to the pavilion by scoring 54. In the very next delivery, Steyn bowled a perfect swinger to dismiss Maxwell and Australians were thus in definite spots of bother. Soon after that, Haddin, Marsh and Mitchell Johnson were dismissed and Australia were almost out of the game having lost 8 wickets at a score of 144 runs. But then the two regular bowlers, Faulkner and Starc came up with a good partnership to take the score above 200. The partnership worth 71 runs when Faulkner was dismissed at a score of 39 runs. And ultimately at the end of 50 overs, Australia finished with 217 for the loss of 9 wickets.
The target was not a huge one. But against an opposition like Australia and that too on a final you never know what is next! It was Quinton De Kock and Hashim Amla who opened the innings for South Africa and Mitchell Johnson opened the bowling for the Aussies. Again, the Aussies started with Maxwell bowling on the other end and this time too, it was fruitful. De Kock was dismissed by Maxwell in the 4th over of the innings. Then came the match winning partnership between Du Plessis and Hashim Amla. This is the 101st consecutive innings that Du Plessis played without scoring a duck. Really, it was a great partnership. In the 22nd over of the South African innings, the bowling change of the Aussies in the form of Steve Smith worked out for them and he dismissed Amla when he was at 51 runs. Then there was an interesting move made by the Proteas. Parnell came out to bat in the 4th spot ahead of AB De Villiers. It seemed that South Africa were too confident about winning the game that they did not bother experimenting. Parnell was soon bowled out by Faulkner at a score of 6 runs. Then came in AB De Villiers and for yet another time we witnessed another scintillating partnership between De Villiers and Du Plessis. And as the South Africans went closer to the target, De Villiers increased his aggression. And finally, there was 1 run required to win the game and Du Plessis was batting on 96. It was a test of nerves whether he could finish the match with a boundary. But unfortunately, he was dismissed by Johnson and thus he was deprived of a century. In the very next delivery, De Villiers struck a boundary to finish off things for South Africa and thus South Africa won by 6 wickets with 55 balls to spare.
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