Magnificent Malan guides South Africa to series win

South Africa restricted Australia to 271 before Janneman Malan slammed his maiden ODI century to guide the Proteas to a six-wicket win at in Bloemfontein.

Janneman Malan (right) played a match-winning knock of 129 to guide Proteas to the series win.   -  TWITTER(@ICC)

Opener Janneman Malan struck a sparkling unbeaten century to guide South Africa to a six-wicket win over Australia in the second one-day international in Bloemfontein on Wednesday which sealed victory in the series.

Australia won the toss and chose to bat, posting 271 all-out as Proteas seamer Lungi Ngidi completed career-best figures of 6-58 on a slow wicket to halt what had been an electric start from the visitor.

Malan, who was out to the first ball of the match on debut on Saturday, anchored the South African reply, taming his usual swashbuckling style to score 129 not out from 139 balls and lead the home side to victory with nine balls to spare.

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Lungi Ngidi's (centre) career-best figures of six for 58 helped South Africa reduce Australia to 271.   -  TWITTER(@ICC)

 

“Janneman read the situation really well and paced it beautifully to set up the win,” South Africa captain Quinton de Kock said at the post-match presentation.

“Its also great having Lungi bowling like this, he is really sticking up his hand and leading the bowling attack. We mustnt take out foot off the gas now, we owe ourselves another win.”

Australia made a fast start to its innings, racing to 50 in the seventh over before David Warner (35) became the first victim for Ngidi, who later dismissed Steve Smith (13) and Marnus Labuschagne in consecutive balls.

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Aaron Finch (69) looked fluent in the early part of his innings, but when South Africa strangled his scoring areas, he edged Anrich Nortje to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock trying a flamboyant drive.

D'Arcy Short (69) put on 66 for the fifth wicket with Mitchell Marsh (36), and when they fell, Ngidi returned to mop up the lower order as Australia added only 49 runs for the loss of six wickets in the final 10 overs.

South Africa lost key batsman De Kock for nought to the third ball of its reply, but Malan, who has not been selected for South Africas ODI tour of India later this month, and JJ Smuts (41) put on a patient 91 in 20.1 overs.

In-form Heinrich Klaasen added a run-a-ball 51 that provided momentum when it was needed, and David Miller (37 not out from 29 balls) joined Malan to finish off a record chase in ODIs at the Mangaung Oval as the host reached 274 for four in 48.3 overs.

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“We were 20 or 30 runs short with the bat,” Finch said. “We should have got more, our bowlers tried hard but the South Africans played well through that middle period. Klaasens innings changed the momentum.

“We lost our way (with the bat), we need to learn, we keep making the same mistakes. We need to improve.”

South Africa leads the series 2-0 and has now beaten Australia in 10 of its last 11 ODI meetings. The third and final match is in Potchefstroom on Saturday.

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