South Africa wins 3rd straight match to beat Australia 3-2 in ODI series ahead of Cricket World Cup

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa secured its third straight victory over Australia on Sunday to win the ODI series 3-2 and enjoy an edge over its rival ahead of the Cricket World Cup next month.

Put into bat, South Africa scored 315-9 and dismissed Australia for 193 in 34.1 overs, with all-rounder Marco Jansen taking 5-39, to win by 122 runs.

Opener Quinton de Kock made 27 in his last ODI at home. He’s retiring from the format after the World Cup. Aiden Markram top scored for South Africa with 93 runs off 87 balls, and David Miller hit a near run-a-ball 63.

The hosts' competitive total was boosted by rapid knocks from No. 7 Jensen (47 in 23) and No. 8 Andile Phehlukwayo, who averaged two runs a ball in his unbeaten 38.

Despite being on the losing side, Australia spinner Adam Zampa (3-71) will have enjoyed this game more than the fourth ODI when he returned record-equaling figures of 0-113. South Africa won that match by 164 runs to level the series at 2-2 with Heinrich Klaasen smashing 174 in 83 balls. On Sunday Klaasen was bowled by Zampa for just 6.

Australia captain Mitch Marsh hit 71 with six fours and six sixes, and Marnus Labuschagne struck a slower 44, in reply but the innings was undone by left-armer Jansen who claimed the top five batters for his first ODI five-for.

The defeat left the tourists lamenting the loss of early wickets - in this match and earlier games.

“We can’t afford to expose our lower-order hitters at six and seven, where we do have some power down there, too early,” coach Andrew McDonald said. “That happened a bit too often in this series.”

In further bad news for Australia, opening batsman Travis Head will miss at the least the first half of World Cup - and possibly the whole tournament - due to the right hand fracture suffered in game four.

“The good news is he doesn’t require surgery, as it stands at the moment," McDonald said.

“There will be an extended period of time out and we’ve got to weigh up whether that time falls potentially with an option to carry him through the front half of the World Cup. There’s no doubt he won’t be available for the front half.”

Australia had threatened to sweep the ODI series — just as it had done for the three-match T20 contest — after wins in the opener and second ODI. But South Africa began its revival with a 111-run win in the third ODI.

South Africa will open its World Cup campaign against Sri Lanka on Oct. 7. Australia faces host India the following day.


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