Oz crush Proteas at Sydney
Ponting's men won the tri-series ODI at the SCG by 57 runs against South Africa on Sunday.Updated: Feb 05, 2006 17:56 IST
Australia crushed South Africa by 57 runs on Sunday in another lop-sided triangular series one-day match at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
The Australians, rapidly approaching the peak of their powers with the finals about to start next week, plundered a record total of 344 for six against the Proteas then restricted the visitors to 287-6 in reply.
Adam Gilchrist (88), Damien Martyn (79) and Ricky Ponting (72) each smashed half-centuries as the world champions went on a batting rampage, registering the highest score by any country against South Africa and the second-highest total by any team in a limited-overs international at Sydney.
"When we get those sorts of totals we're always going to be hard to chase down," Ponting said at the post-match presentation.
"All our batters are looking good and the bowling and fielding has improved as well... so we're in really good shape going into the finals."
Australia's total eclipsed Pakistan's 335-6 against South Africa in 2002-03 and was just 15 runs short of Australia's record of 359-5 against India in Sydney two summers ago.
South Africa's total was their highest score of the tournament, which also includes Sri Lanka, but they were still never really in the hunt to win the match.
Wicketkeeper Mark Boucher scored an adventurous 76 that featured two successive sixes off spinner Brad Hogg and Herschelle Gibbs carved out 46, but Australia were always in control.
With Australia already assured of their place in the best-of-three finals, the other spot will be decided by the outcome of Tuesday's clash between South Africa and Sri Lanka in Hobart.
Australia made their intentions clear from the outset after Ponting won the toss and elected to bat first in front of a crowd of 35,136.
They raced past 50 in the sixth over with Gilchrist slamming four boundaries from the third over of the innings from Johan van der Wath.
Gilchrist was at his aggressive best, pulling and driving the ball ferociously to chalk up 14 fours and give Australia a flying start.
He reached his half-century off just 29 balls and had faced just 37 more when he threw his wicket away on 88, skying a pull shot off Charl Langeveldt to Boucher.
Ponting was also in superb touch, reaching his 50 off only 37 balls, peeling off eight boundaries in 61 balls and 98 minutes before he also fell in pursuit of quick runs.
Martyn began cautiously but accelerated in the final overs after being joined by Mike Hussey, reaching his half-century off 65 balls.
Martyn belted 11 runs of the last over but was run out off the final ball of the innings trying to scamper back for two, leaving Hussey stranded on 47 from just 33 deliveries.
South Africa, needing to break the world record for the highest successful run-chase in international one-day cricket, made a terrible start when their out-of-form skipper Graeme Smith was caught down the legside for six.
The remaining South African batsmen all got starts with everyone making at least 25, but the target was always out of reach.
Australia: A Gilchristc Boucherb Langeveldt88, S Katichc Kempb van der Wath11, R Pontingc Gibbsb Botha72,A Symondsc Hallb Smith7,D Martynrun out (Smith/Boucher)79,M Clarkec Rudolphb Hall27,M Husseynot out47,Extras:(lb-4, w-8, nb-1) 13, Total:(for 6 wkts, 50 overs)344.
Fall of wkts: 1-65, 2-138, 3-168, 4-203, 5-263, 6-344.
Bowling:van der Wath10-0-76-1, Zondeki4-0-42-0, Hall10-0-69-1, Langeveldt6-0-49-1, Smith10-0-52-1, Botha10-0-52-1.
South Africa: G Smithc Gilchristb Lee6,B Dippenaarc Husseyb Clark27,H Gibbsc Gilchristb Symonds46,M Boucherc Hopesb Symonds76,J Kempc Brackenb Hogg28,A Princerun out (Ponting)25,J Rudolphnot out31,J van der Wathnot out37,Extras:(lb-7, w-2, nb-2)11, Total:(for 6 wickets, 50 overs)287.
Fall of wkts:1-7, 2-52, 3-105, 4-172, 5-199, 6-236.
Bowling:Lee6-0-31-1,Bracken9-0-51-0, Clark10-0-70-1, Hopes5-0-35-0, Symonds10-0-42-2, Hogg10-0-51-1.
First Published: Feb 05, 2006 11:44 IST