South Africa Ruin Australia Day With Series Win

South Africa 223-2 (De Villiers 82no, Amla 80no) beat
Australia 222 (Ponting 63, Steyn 3-49, Ntini 3-52) by eight wickets

4th One Day International, Adelaide Oval

Unbeaten half-centuries from AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla guided South Africa to a comfortable series-sealing win in the fourth One Day International against Australia in Adelaide.

Dale Steyn and Makhaya Ntini took three wickets apiece to bowl Australia out for 222 before South Africa cruised to victory on Australia day in the 39th over.

After Australia won the toss and chose to bat, Ntini found his range swiftly to have David Warner (1) caught by Morne Morkel, in the side after Mark Boucher was ruled out for the rest of the series with a fractured toe, leaving AB de Villiers to take over behind the stumps.

Steyn then ended Shaun Marsh's cameo of 13 in nine balls with Morne Morkel taking another catch before a partnership worth 93 between Ricky Ponting (63) and Mike Hussey (28) helped Australia recover.

Ponting stroked nine fours in his knock but South Africa hit back with Johan Botha trapping Hussey in front and Ntini having the Australian captain caught by Neil McKenzie in consecutive overs.

David Hussey (24), Cameron White (30) and James Hopes (42) chipped in down the order, the latter two scoring freely before the returning Steyn removed them both but South Africa continued to strike, Morne Morkel finishing the innings with the wicket of Ben Hilfenhaus (5) with two overs to spare.

South Africa batted with intent right from the start of their run chase, Herschelle Gibbs smacking eight fours on his way to 38 in 29 balls.

Jacques Kallis made 13 in 12 and although Hilfenhaus and Hopes removed both men, there was nothing they could do about Amla and de Villiers, who were in sublime form.

Both men drove beautifully on both sides of the wicket and after Kallis was dismissed with the score on 79, the pair added an unbroken third-wicket stand of 144.

Amla was unbeaten on 80, de Villiers on 82.

With South Africa 3-1 up in the series, the final match takes place in Perth on January 30th.

© Cricket World 2009

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