Miller blitz hands South Africa 3-0 lead in a record-breaking run chase
South Africa 372-6 (Miller 118no) beat
Australia 371-6 (Warner 117) by four wickets
Third One-day International, Durban
Tons from David Warner and Steven Smith went in vain for Australia as David Miller’s unbeaten 79-ball 118 guided South Africa to a four-wicket win in the third One-Day International in Durban, capping off a record-breaking run-chase along with a series-clinching 3-0 lead.
Australia won the toss and chose to bat. Warner (117) and Aaron Finch (53) began the innings in a blistering fashion, propelling the team to a score of 88 for naught in the powerplay.
Warner was the first to complete his fifty in 41 balls and also brought up the 100-run stand. In the next over, with a six over long on, Finch notched a 32-ball half-century but fell an over later with the score reading 110.
Warner went past 3000 ODI runs and along with Smith (108), he settled down to ease through the middle overs. At the half-way mark, Australia already had 162 for one on the scoreboard.
While Warner went about at a decent pace, Smith opted to drop anchor and the pair eventually shared a 124-run stand for the second wicket.
As he neared the three-digit mark, Warner upped the ante and went on to bring up the century in the 32nd over. Soon, Smith registered his fifty off 64 balls.
The stand was broken in the 35th over with Warner holing out in the deep off Imran Tahir (2-54). At the end of the 40th over, Australia posted 270 for two.
Moments later, Bailey went past 3000 ODI runs as well but fell in the 41st over whereas Mitchell Marsh (2) also failed to get going.
Smith registered his sixth ODI century in the 46th over but was castled by Dale Steyn (2-96) in the next. Travis Head (35) and Matthew Wade (17) smashed 41 runs in the last three overs as Australia posted a total of 371 for six in 50 overs.
South Africa started the chase well with Hashim Amla (45) and Quinton de Kock (70) adding a 66-run opening stand.
Amla breezed through his 30-ball knock before John Hastings (2-79) trapped him LBW. De Kock continued to up the ante as he brought up a 36-ball fifty.
Faf du Plessis (33) failed to convert his start and fell in the 18th over, opening the gates for a middle-order collapse. Rilee Rossouw (18) and JP Duminy (20) also faltered as South Africa lost half their side with the score reading 217 runs in 31.1 overs.
Miller (118 not out), who began his knock with a flurry of boundaries, upped the pressure on Australia and turned the game around.
After bringing up a 45-ball fifty, Miller saw Dwayne Pretorius (15) fall at the other end. With South Africa needing 88 runs from the last 10 overs, Miller blazed away to a 69-ball hundred while Andile Phehlukwayo (42 not out) gave him good support.
The equation was reduced to 46 needed from 30 balls and it was here that Phehlukwayo took over, chasing down the target with four balls to spare with his sensational cameo.
Having chased 372 runs successfully, South Africa registered the second highest successful chase in ODI history.
With this four-wicket win, South Africa took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series. Miller was the man of the match.
© Cricket World 2016