South Africa stage remarkable series comeback against Australia to win 3-2

A remarkable all-round display by pacer Marco Jansen, complemented by half-centuries from Aiden Markram and David Miller, led South Africa to a memorable series win over Australia. The Proteas defeated Australia by 122 runs in the fifth and final ODI in Johannesburg to clinch the closely contested ODI series 3-2.

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Put in to bat by the Aussies, South Africa suffered an early setback when skipper Temba Bavuma was dismissed for a duck due after a run-out by Marnus Labuschagne. The Proteas couldn’t make significant headway against the Australian bowling attack during the initial ten overs of the mandatory powerplay, with the score reaching just 32/1.

Nathan Ellis removed Quinton de Kock, who was playing his final ODI at home, for 27 off 39 balls, including four boundaries, after he was caught by Cameron Green at slips. South Africa found themselves at 37/2 in 11.4 overs.

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The Proteas reached the 50-run mark in 14 overs. Rassie van der Dussen and Aiden Markram were gradually building a solid partnership, but Rassie’s innings came to an end at 30 off 48 balls, including two fours and a six, when a delivery by Sean Abbott was caught by Labuschagne at cover. South Africa was at 80/3 in 18.2 overs.

South Africa reached the 100-run mark in 22.1 overs, but Adam Zampa, who had been targeted by Heinrich Klaasen in the previous ODI, struck back and dismissed him for just six runs. This left South Africa at 103/4 in 23.2 overs. Markram then completed his fifty off 54 balls.

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Markram and Miller stabilised the innings after losing quick wickets, taking took on the Australian bowlers, finding gaps with ease. The 150-run mark was reached in 31.3 overs, and the 200-run mark came in just under 40 overs. Their century partnership came in 102 balls. Miller smashed his second consecutive fifty in 59 balls.

However, Abbott struck again, this time removing Markram for 93 off 87 balls. South Africa were then 212/5. Jansen came in and hit a quickfire 47 runs off just 23 balls, while Miller and Andile Phehlukwayo added a crucial 68-run partnership. Phehlukwayo hit an unbeaten 38 off only 19 balls, with two fours and three sixes, as South Africa finished 315/9 in 50 overs. Zampa (3/70) and Abbott (2/54) were the pick of the bowlers for Australia.

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Chasing 316 runs, Australia started decently with openers Mitchell Marsh and David Warner. However, Warner (10) was dismissed and Josh Inglis (0) also fell to Jansen in the fourth over, leaving Australia at 34/2. The visitors reached the 50-run mark in eight overs.

Marnus Labuschagne and Marsh put together a 90-run partnership for the third wicket, before Jansen dismissed the latter for 71 off 56 balls. Then, Jansen accounted for the wickets of Labuschagne (44) and Alex Carey (2), reducing Australia to 136/5 in 22 overs.

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Later, spinner Keshav Maharaj spun his web and removed most of the middle order, ultimately dismissing Australia for 193 in 34.1 overs. The visitors suffered a 122-run loss, with Jansen (5/39) and Maharaj (4/33) dismantling the Australian batting lineup. The former’s exceptional all-round performance earned him the Player of the Match award.

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