A 122-run partnership between AB de Villiers and David Miller set up a defendable total in the 4th ODI in Melbourne on Friday.
South Africa arrived at the ground having never tasted defeat in an ODI. With that in mind, De Villiers won the flick of the coin and elected to bat first. The top order all got starts with Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis contributing 17, 18 and 28, respectively.
A few soft dismissals saw Miller join De Villiers with the scoreboard reading 77-3 and the threat of the fragile lower order being exposed once again. They first took South Africa to safety and then into a position of strength.
Miller fell for 45 in the 37th over, after taking the score to 199. At that stage it looked as if a minimum of 300 was on the cards, which has never been chased in Melbourne. At the other end, De Villiers was in cruise control until he found the man on the leg-side boundary. It was a golden opportunity to score a big hundred, but his 88-ball 91 once again showed why he is regarded as the best ODI player on the planet.
Once the two big fish were back in the hut the same old gremlins crept in. Nobody in the lower order managed to score at more than a run a ball and wickets fell at regular intervals. As a result, the innings crawled to its conclusion, ending on 267-8.