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South Africa topples Australia 4-1 to become top ODI side

January 30, 2009 18:57 IST

Australia were on Friday dethroned as the number one team in one-dayers by South Africa who demolished the hosts by 39 runs in the fifth and final match to clinch the ODI series with an emphatic 4-1 margin.

The ODI series triumph follows South Africa's 2-1 win in the Test series and though Australia remain the number one team in the longer version of the game, the Proteas return home with the new-found tag of being the top team in one dayers. 

India remained the third-placed ODI team with 120 points while South Africans have five points more. Australia also have 125 points but were pushed to the number two slot as they were found fractionally behind the Proteas when decimal points were calculated. 

Australia needed 289 runs for a win to remain the number one side but 249 was all they managed before folding in 49 overs with Michael Hussey (78) and Brad Haddin (63) making futile efforts with the bat. 

Earlier, Hashim Amla (97) and AB de Villiers (60) steadied South Africa with a 118-run stand and then JP Duminy (60 not out off 42 balls) provided the late burst as South Africa posted 288 for six wickets. 

Australia faltered early in the chase and could not really recover from the early setbacks. 

The hosts needed a strong start from Shaun Marsh (5) and David Warner (22) but debutant South African Lonwabo Tsotsobe rocked the Australian boat with early double strikes and Ricky Ponting's men could never really recover from that.

Tsotsobe removed Marsh in the second over while Warner ran himself out in the 13th. In between, Tsotsobe returned Ponting (12) and then Michael Clarke (0) dragged a Morne Morkel onto the stumps as Australia slumped to 53 for four inside 13 overs.

The subsequent 69 runs raised by the Hussey brothers did arrest the slide for a while but Duminy broke the stand by claiming David and Tsotsobe then castled Michael. 

Haddin did try his best but it was too late by then. For South Africa, Tsotsobe made a memorable debut, scalping four wickets for 50 runs in his nine overs. 

Earlier, after South Africa decided to bat first, Hashim Amla began with some early fours before guiding a Ben Hilfenhaus delivery over third man for a six. 

The visitors had their share of early troubles as well.

Hilfenhaus removed Herschelle Gibbs (7) and then James Hopes scalped Neil McKenzie (10), promoted to number three in Jacques Kallis' absence, as South Africa stuttered to 58 for two.

Displaying the same maturity that has been the hall mark of his batting, Amla retreated into a shell and resisted every temptation to go after the host bowlers. de Villiers was equally cautious even though he didn't hesitate to impose himself whenever Michael Clarke and David Hussey erred. 

Hopes finally snapped the stand in the 37th over when de Villiers holed out in square leg boundary and 20 runs later, Amla joined him in the pavilion, having missed the 100-mark just by three runs.

Amla tried to guide Hopes through the cordon only to tickle it to Brad Haddin behind the stumps. 

Amla's 117-ball 97 included six fours and a six, while de Villiers' 71-ball 60 had four boundaries in it. 

Albie Morkel (14) and Vaughn van Jaarsveld (5) didn't last long either but with Duminy in scintillating form, South  Africa made the most of their batting power play which yielded 53 runs.

Duminy simply went ballistic, hitting Mitchell Johnson over mid-on for a six before hoicking Nathan Bracken for two more, the last of which brought up his fifty. 

Duminy eventually remained not out on 60 and his 42-ball blitzkrieg was studded with three fours and as many sixes. Thanks for his batting pyrotechnics, South Africa milked 92 runs off the last 10 overs to swell their tally.

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