Australia vs South Africa 4th ODI: Smith’s sensational century hands Australia unassailable 3-1 lead

Smith celebrates after scoring his second ODI century

Smith celebrates after scoring his second ODI century

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Australia all-rounder Steve Smith scored a sensational century to not only lead his side to a three-wicket win over South Africa in the fourth ODI in Melbourne, but also give them an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series.

Smith was well supported by wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Wade, who made a vital 52.

However, South Africa captain AB de Villiers deserves a lot of credit for his valiant knock of 91.

De Villiers would have been brooding over his decision to bat first after opening batsman Hashim Amla was caught by Pat Cummins at short midwicket off the bowling of Nathan Coulter-Nile for 18.

Quinton de Kock scored 17 runs before he was caught and bowled by Glenn Maxwell.

Faf du Plessis managed to make 28 runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of Cummins.

De Villiers and David Miller stabilised the innings with a 122-run partnership, during which de Villiers brought up his half-century, before Miller at caught by Smith at cover off the bowling of James Faulkner for 45.

De Villiers went on to score 91 off 88 balls, which included six boundaries, before he was caught by Smith at deep midwicket off the bowling of Cummins.

De Villiers' gutsy knock of 91 went in vain

De Villiers’ gutsy knock of 91 went in vain

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Ryan McLaren only made 13 runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of Mitchell Starc.

Robin Peterson fared no better as he was clean bowled by Faulkner for 11.

Farhaan Behardien mustered 22 runs before he was run out by David Warner.

Thanks to de Villiers, South Africa finished on 267/8 off their 50 overs.

Faulkner and Cummins picked up two wickets apiece, while Starc, Coulter-Nile and Maxwell chipped in with one wicket each.

Chasing 268 to win, Australia got off to a horrible start as Warner was given out lbw off the bowling of Kyle Abbott for four runs.

Shane Watson scored 19 runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of McLaren.

Aaron Finch fared no better as he was caught by du Plessis at deep square leg off the bowling of Wayne Parnell.

Australia captain George Bailey failed to have an impact with the bat as he was caught behind off the bowling of Dale Steyn.

Maxwell accumulated two runs before he was caught by Amla at first slip off the bowling of Steyn.

Smith and Wade steadied the innings with a 121-run partnership, during which both batsmen registered their half-centuries, before Wade was caught by McLaren at long leg off the bowling of Parnell.

Wade’s excellent knock of 52 came off 59 balls and included four boundaries and a six.

Wade smashed four boundaries and a six during his entertaining innings of 52

Wade smashed four boundaries and a six during his entertaining innings of 52

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Smith ended up making a career-best 104, which came off 112 deliveries and included seven boundaries, before he was clean bowled by Peterson.

Thanks to Faulkner’s quickfire knock of 34, Australia reached their target with one over to spare.

Steyn and Parnell took two wickets each, while Peterson, McLaren and Abbott claimed one wicket apiece.

Smith was named Man of the Match, and said: “You need a partnership and myself and Wade managed to do that, we put on a hundred. Disappointed I was left out in the first game. It takes some time to work out what to do and I’m slowly getting there and improving every game. [Faulkner] came out there and hit it from ball one, he took the pressure off me.”

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