Canberra To Break Series Deadlock

Image courtesy of: foxsports.com.au
Aussie big-hitter David Warner must improve for the hosts. Image courtesy of foxsports.com.au

Australia Flag


Australia v South Africa


Manuka Oval, Canberra

  19 November 1:20pm (AEST)



Australia and South Africa clash at Manuka Oval in Canberra on Wednesday, with their five game ODI series deadlocked at one-all.

After winning the opening encounter in Perth comfortably, the Aussies came back to earth in the second. With lanky paceman Morne Morkel taking a career-best 5/21, the Proteas won an intriguing contest at the WACA by three wickets, with  a whopping 134 balls to spare.

 

The hosts are likely to rest spearhead Mitchell Johnson for the rest of the series, putting extra pressure their pace attack. Josh Hazelwood certainly showed he can step up with his first ODI 'fivefa' (5/31) in a beaten side. But the likes of Nathan Coulter-Nile, who was man of the match in Game 1, will again have to step up. Like Morkel, Hazelwood already has six wickets in the series.

From an overall perspective, it's fair to say the South African three-pronged pace attack of Morkel, Dale Steyn and Vern Philander is working well as a unit. Between them, they have taken 16 of the 18 Aussie wickets to fall in the opening two matches. The other two scalps went to spinner Imran Tahir and all-rounder Farhaan Behardien.

But in the batting, there is already a stand-out - South African captain AB de Villiers. He has 128 runs from two digs, including a crucial 48 of 41 balls in Game 2. De Villiers is the only player in triple figures thus far and is striking at 109.40.

With just 89 runs between, Australia's match-winning openers need a big score. Dave Warner has 46 off 54 balls and Aaron Finch 43 off 54 balls, but neither has been at his explosive best. Perhaps a placid Manuka Oval strip and some short boundaries will help on Wednesday.

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Chris Bombolas - Tatts Senior Writer

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