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SA beat Australia to win ODI series

January 26, 2009 20:08 IST

South Africa capped a dream tour of Australia by winning the ODI series on Monday in addition to the Test series earlier but the hosts still retained their top spot in both forms of the game despite unmistakable signs that they are on the downslide.

The South Africans crushed the Aussies by eight wickets in what turned out to be a lopsided floodlit contest to take an invincible 3-1 lead in the five-match series.

Opting to bat first, Australia put up yet another sordid batting display and folded up for 222 in 48 overs with only Ricky Ponting (63), James Hopes (42) and Cameron White (30) salvaging some individual reputation with the bat.

South Africa's pace colleagues Makhaya Ntini (3/52) and Dale Steyn (3/49) did an excellent job with the new ball wrecking Australia's top and middle order.

Chasing 223, South Africa needed 38.1 overs to overwhelm the target with Hashim Amla (80 not out), AB de Villiers (82 not out) and Herschelle Gibbs (36) starring in the chase.

Australia remained the number one team in both forms of the game followed closely by South Africa and India, both of whom have beaten the Kangaroos in Test series in recent months.

In One-dayers, Australia led the table with 126 points, followed by South Africa (123) and India (119). Australia had 126 rating points in the longer version of the game with South Africa (121) and India (118) in the second and third position respectively.

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