South Africa’s bowlers held their nerve to drive the Proteas to their first ODI series win in Australia since 2008-09 on Sunday in Hobart.
Captain Faf du Plessis (125 off 114 balls, 15x4, 2x6).and David Miller (139 off 108 balls, 13x4, 4x6), shared a brilliant 252-run partnership to power the visitors to 320/5 – their highest total against Australia on Australian soil.
But an equally impressive century from Shaun Marsh (106 off 102 balls) and Marcus Stoinis’ half-century (63 off 76 balls) gave the hosts some hope of hauling in the target before South Africa’s pacemen restricted the Aussie batsmen in the final 10 overs.
Lungi Ngidi, in particular, Kagiso Rabada and Dale Steyn (3/45) executed their yorkers and slower balls with precision during this period. This was in contrast to the Aussies bowlers, who were carted for 130 runs in the final 10 overs, and more particularly 75 runs in the last five.
Miller and Du Plessis certainly enjoyed themselves during that period with Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc conceding 40 runs in two overs.
Miller, though, had earlier been given out LBW by umpire Aleem Dar, but the decision was over-turned when the Proteas called for the television review. There was controversy surrounding the call due to Du Plessis requesting the review, and not Miller himself initially.
ICC regulations state that “only the batsman involved in a dismissal may request a Player Review of an Out decision and only the captain (or acting captain) of the fielding team may request a Player Review of a Not-out decision."
This could, though, not take the shine off a glorious victory for the Proteas and skipper Du Plessis, who is now the first Proteas captain to lead South Africa to a Test and ODI series victory in Australia.