ODI tri-series 2nd Match: De Villiers and du Plessis make easy work of Australia’s 327

De Villiers led by example with his match-winning knock of 136

De Villiers led by example with his match-winning knock of 136

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

South Africa captain AB de Villiers and batsman Faf du Plessis both smashed sensational centuries to make easy work of Australia’s mammoth score of 327 in Harare.

Despite losing the match by seven wickets, Australia opener Aaron Finch and skipper George Bailey deserve a lot of credit for making 102 and 66 respectively.

De Villiers would have been brooding over his decision to bowl first after Finch and Phillip Hughes amassed a 92-run partnership, during which Hughes brought up his half-century, before he was caught by de Villiers at cover off the bowling of Imran Tahir.

Hughes’ brilliant knock of 51 came off 63 balls and included eight boundaries.

Mitchell Marsh only made five runs before he was given out lbw off the bowling of Tahir.

Finch and Bailey stabilised the innings with a 114-run partnership, during which Finch brought up his fourth ODI century and Bailey his half-century, before Finch was caught by Jean Paul (JP) Duminy at deep square leg off the bowling of Ryan McLaren.

Finch’s outstanding innings of 102 came off 116 balls and included nine boundaries and a six.

Finch made a valiant century

Finch made a valiant century

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Bailey ended up making 66 off 54 deliveries, which included three boundaries and three sixes, before he was caught behind off the bowling of Morne Morkel.

Bailey made a gutsy 66

Bailey scored a gutsy 66

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Glenn Maxwell scored seven runs before he was caught by de Villiers at mid-on off the bowling of Morkel.

Brad Haddin fared no better as he was caught by Hashim Amla at slip off the bowling of Dale Steyn for nine runs.

Steven Smith made a quickfire 31 before he was clean bowled by McLaren.

Thanks to some late fireworks from Mitchell Johnson and James Faulkner, Australia finished on 327/7 off their 50 overs.

Tahir, McLaren and Morkel picked up two wickets apiece, while Steyn chipped in with one.

Chasing 328 to win, South Africa got off to a solid start as Amla and Quinton de Kock put together a 44-run partnership before Amla was caught by Smith at point off the bowling of Kane Richardson.

De Kock ended up making 19 runs before he was caught by Faulkner at deep square leg off the bowling of Mitchell Starc.

De Viliers and du Plessis steadied the innings with a 206-run partnership, during which de Villiers brought up his 18th ODI century and du Plessis his maiden hundred, before du Plessis was caught by Smith at midwicket off the bowling of Starc.

Du Plessis’ career-best score of 106 came off 98 balls and included 11 boundaries and a six.

Du Plessis celebrates after bringing up his maiden ODI century

Du Plessis celebrates after bringing up his maiden ODI century

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

De Villiers and Duminy finished things off with an unbeaten 71-run partnership.

De Villiers ended up making 136 off 106 balls, which included 11 boundaries and two sixes, while Duminy remained undefeated on 33 off 29 deliveries, which included one boundary and a six.

Starc was the most successful bowler with two wickets, while Richardson claimed one.

Bailey was still in shock at what had happened, and said: “We certainly had enough runs on the board, created enough chances, but hats off to Faf and AB, two extraordinary innings. One of the challenges for us is Maxi, who is a good enough spinner to not be a part-timer, like JP Duminy is for South Africa, and Steven Smith is going to be a massive one-day bowler for us.”

De Villiers, who was ecstatic to have pulled off yet another huge chase, was also named Man of the Match, and said: “I haven’t scored a lot of runs of late, to score a few here is pleasing. Had a lot of chances, and luckily I made it count. Two guys stood out today, first of all Faf. I know he’s had a rough start to his ODI career, but he is in magnificent form. The other guy is Imran Tahir. It was a good wicket, but areas to improve on. Too many extras. I think there is enough experience to carry the young guys through and carry them forward. I think the hunger we showed, especially in the last series against Sri Lanka, I was very pleased to see that hunger again today.”

Leave a Reply