Australia vs South Africa 5th ODI: Australia win series 4-1 to regain number one ODI ranking

Australia celebrate after crushing South Africa 4-1 and regaining the top spot on the ODI rankings

Australia celebrate after crushing South Africa 4-1 and regaining the top spot on the ODI rankings

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Australia have regained the top spot on the ODI rankings after thrashing South Africa 4-1 following their two-wicket win via the Duckworth-Lewis method in Sydney.

Australia all-rounder Shane Watson and batsman Steve Smith were the heroes of the match as they scored 82 and 67 respectively.

However, South Africa opener Quinton de Kock deserves a lot of credit for his valiant century.

South Africa captain Hashim Amla would have been pleased with his decision to bat first after he and de Kock amassed a 54-run partnership before he was caught behind off the bowling of Glenn Maxwell for 18.

De Kock and Rilee Rossouw kept the runs flowing with a 107-run partnership, during which both batsmen brought up their half-centuries, before Rossouw was caught by Australia skipper George Bailey at mid-on off the bowling of Pat Cummins.

Rossouw’s excellent knock of 51 came off 71 balls and included five boundaries.

Rossouw hit a valiant 51

Rossouw made a gutsy 51

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Just three balls later, the rain came and the players were ushered off the field.

However, only 10 minutes later, the players were back on the field and play resumed right away.

Cummins struck again the very first ball after the rain delay when Faf du Plessis was caught by Bailey at mid-off for two runs.

David Miller only made five runs before he was caught by Cummins at deep fine leg off the bowling of Smith.

De Kock went on to make history as he became the first South African to make an ODI century at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

De Kock’s superb innings of 107 came off 123 deliveries and included 14 boundaries.

De Kock's sixth ODI century went in vain

De Kock’s sixth ODI century went in vain

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Farhaan Behardien and Wayne Parnell steadied the innings with a 73-run partnership, during which Behardien registered his half-century before he was caught by Smith off the bowling of James Faulkner.

Behardien’s career-best knock of 63 came off 41 balls and included seven boundaries and two sixes.

Behardien smashed seven boundaries and two sixes during his career-best knock of 63

Behardien smashed seven boundaries and two sixes during his career-best knock of 63

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Thanks to de Kock, Behardien and Rossouw, South Africa finished on 280/6 off their 50 overs.

Cummins was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Faulkner, Maxwell and Smith chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Chasing 281 to win, Australia got off to a swift start before David Warner was brilliantly caught by Robin Peterson at mid-on off the bowling of Parnell for 21.

Just a short while after Warner was dismissed, the heavens parted and as a result, the match was reduced to 48 overs and Australia’s revised target was set at 275.

Aaron Finch and Watson made up for the early loss of Warner with a 100-run partnership, during which Finch recorded his half-century, before he was caught by Rossouw off the bowling of Peterson.

Du Plessis took the catch initially, but since he was going to step over the boundary rope, he tossed the ball to Rossouw in order to ensure Finch would be on his way back to the pavilion.

Finch’s fantastic knock of 76 came off 67 balls and included 11 boundaries.

Finch made his 76 in almost no time at all

Finch made his 76 in almost no time at all

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Watson and Smith kept the runs flowing with an 81-run partnership, during which Watson registered his half-century, before he was caught by Rossouw at deep midwicket off the bowling of Morne Morkel.

Watson’s scintillating innings of 82 came off 93 deliveries and included seven boundaries and two sixes.

Watson had a great day with the bat

Watson had a great day with the bat

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Maxwell only made seven runs before he was caught by Behardien at mid-off off the bowling of Morkel.

Smith went on to score 67 off 74 balls, which included six boundaries and a six, before he was caught by Rossouw at deep cover off the bowling of Peterson.

Smith's good form with the bat continued

Smith’s good form with the bat continued

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Following Smith’s dismissal, Australia’s lower order collapsed as they went from 264/5 to 267/8.

Despite the late flurry of wickets, Australia managed to reach their target with five balls to spare.

Peterson was the most successful bowler with four wickets, while Morkel took two and Parnell and Kyle Abbott claimed one wicket each.

De Kock was named Man of the Match and Smith received the Man of the Series award.

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