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Australia Hold On To Win Final ODI

Shane Watson
Shane Watson top scored for Australia with 82
©REUTERS / Action Images

Australia 275-8 (Watson 82, Finch 76) beat
South Africa 280-6 (de Kock 107) by two wickets
Fifth One-Day International, Sydney Cricket Ground

Australia survived a late South Africa fightback to win the fifth and final One-Day International in Sydney by two wickets.

Quinton de Kock scored a century to help South Africa post 280 for six in 48 overs of a rain-shortened first innings.

Shane Watson (82), Aaron Finch (76) and Steve Smith (67) made half-centuries before Australia collapsed from from 246 for three to 267 for eight chasing a revised target of 275 to win.

They eventually required James Faulkner to see them home and complete a 4-1 series win

The victory also put Australia back on top of the ICC ODI rankings.

De Kock, who hit 107 in 123 balls, played a fine hand for South Africa as they batted first and he put on 107 with Rilee Rossouw (51) for the second wicket.

However, Australia hit back with Pat Cummins (3-54) removing de Kock, Rossouw and Faf du Plessis (2) and Smith taking the wicket of David Miller for five.

Back came South Africa with a counter-attack led by Farhaan Behardien, who cracked 63 in 41 balls to set Australia a testing target.

David Warner hit a quickfire 21 in 16 balls at the top of the order before Finch and Watson added 100 for the second wicket.

Finch was caught by Rossouw after du Plessis threw the ball back before stepping over the boundary in the deep, but Watson and Smith combined to take Australia to the brink of victory.

Smith took a while to get going but by the time Watson fell to Morne Morkel, he was into his stride, hitting six fours and a six, taking full advantage of his pair of reprieves.

Nevertheless, South Africa kept fighting. Rossouw slid in to brilliantly catch Smith in the deep and both Glenn Maxwell (7) and George Bailey (4) gave their wickets away, the latter giving Rossouw his fourth catch of the innings.

Needing eight to win from 18 balls, Matthew Wade tried to hit Robin Peterson away and was bowled through the gate for three. The left-arm spinner then bowled Cummins for a four-ball duck to leave Australia in trouble at 267 for eight.

After Abbott bowled another no ball in the penultimate over, Australia needed four to win from the final set of six deliveries, bowled by Peterson.

Faulkner wasted no time in finishing off the game, sweeping the first ball powerfully through the on-side.

Peterson finished with figures of four for 32, Morkel two for 69 and there was a wicket apiece for Abbott and Wayne Parnell.

© Cricket World 2014