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by John Pennington Wednesday 19 November 2014
Australia 329-5 (Finch 109, Smith 73no) beatSouth Africa 256 (Amla 102) by 73 runsThird One-Day International, CanberraScorecard
Aaron Finch struck 109 and Steve Smith an unbeaten 73 to plot Australia's course towards a 73-run win over South Africa in the third One-Day International in Canberra.
Australia racked up 329 for five at the Manuka Oval before dismissing South Africa for 256 in reply with Hashim Amla's century in vain.
He made 102 and AB de Villiers 52 before the Proteas fell short, Mitchell Starc taking four for 32 and Josh Hazlewood three for 51.
Australia now lead the five-match series 2-1.
Finch made 109 in 127 balls and David Warner 53 in 50 to get Australia off to a flyer, laying the platform for Shane Watson to make 40 in 38 deliverires and Smith a brilliant 73 not out in 55.
Morne Morkel (2-84), Vernon Philander (1-79), Farhaan Behardien (1-39) and de Villiers (1-42) were South Africa's wicket-takers as they struggled to keep the flow of runs down.
South Africa also started well with Amla and Quinton de Kock putting on 108 together for the first wicket before Australia fought back.
De Kock (47), Faf du Plessis (17) and Rilee Rossouw (2) fell in quick succession only for Amla and de Villiers to get the run chase back on track with a 76-run stand for the fourth wicket.
However, when they were dismissed within two runs and five balls of one another by Hazlewood and Kane Richardson respectively, Australia were back in charge and they did not let their opponents back into the game.
Behardien (12), David Mmiller (3), Philander (1), Dale Steyn (12) all fell cheaply as the required run-rate spiralled and Imran Tahir was unable to bat due to injury.
South Africa were bowled out in 44.3 overs and now need to win both remaining games, in Melbourne (21st November) and Sydney (23rd November) if they are to claim a series win.
© Cricket World 2014