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Smith Hands Australia Series Win

Steve Smith
Steve Smith hit his second ODI century to see Australia home
©REUTERS / Action Images

Australia 268-7 (Smith 104) beat
South Africa 267-8 by three wickets
Fourth One-Day International, Melbourne

Steve Smith's counter-attacking century helped Australia recover from 98 for five and chase down 268 to beat South Africa by three wickets in the fourth One-Day International at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Smith's 104, Matthew Wade's 52 and James Faulkner's 34 in 19 balls helped them overhaul South Africa's total of 267 for eight to move into an unassailable 3-1 series lead with one game to play.

AB de Villiers had earlier top scored with 91 for South Africa and although they then looked to be in control in the field, Australia had other ideas, getting home with an over to spare.

De Villiers hit six fours in his busy 88-ball innings after South Africa had made a solid start and he was well supported by David Miller (45).

Farhaan Behardien added 22 as all eight dismissed batsmen reached double figures to put a competitive score on the board.

For Australia, Pat Cummins and Faulkner took a brace of wickets with Mitchell Starc, Nathan Coulter-Nile, and Glenn Maxwell grabbing one apiece.

South Africa's pace bowlers then rocked the home side; Wayne Parnell (2-52), Kyle Abbott (1-43) and Ryan McLaren (1-62) struck early and when Dale Steyn removed George Bailey (16) and Maxwell (2) in quick succession, Australia were in deep trouble.

However, Smith and Wade forged a 121-run stand for the sixth wicket that turned the match on its head, Smith making 104 in 112 balls and Wade 52 in 59.

Parnell had Wade brilliantly caught by McLaren in the 45th over to lift South Africa only for Faulkner to come in and crack six fours in his 19-ball knock that meant that even the dismissal of Smith bowled by Robin Peterson after completing his second ODI century, Australia stayed on course.

Smith fell with the scores level and Cummins wasted no time in completing the formalities, scoring the winning run from the only ball he faced.

The fifth and final match is at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday (23rd November).

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