A dominant bowling display from SA’s new additions rattled Australia, as they were bowled out for 167 in the 4th ODI in Port Elizabeth.
After a series defeat was decided on Wednesday night, Australia needed to get off to a good start to prevent the possibility of a whitewash. Due to their dominance in the series thus far, the Proteas decided to give some new players a chance to prove their worth.
The current squad has an abundance of quality bowlers, so it was not surprising that it would be in that department that changes would be made. Kyle Abbott, Tabraiz Shamsi and Aaron Phangiso were brought in for Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada and Imran Tahir.
Despite missing their top players, any talk about complacency was wiped away instantly as SA grabbed three quick wickets to put Australia on the back foot. Abbott struck in the first over to dismiss the dangerous Aaron Finch for a duck and followed his good start with a second, clean bowling the centurion from the third ODI, David Warner, early in the the third over. Dwaine Pretorius did well to support his opening partner, trapping George Bailey lbw soon after as Australia posted 30-3 after the first Powerplay.
Australia captain Steve Smith showed some good signs of the form which helped him score a brilliant century in the third ODI, but his attempt at reviving his sides’ spirit was ended by a successful review by captain Faf du Plessis after an lbw call by Shamsi.
It was the orthodox-chinaman delivery which halted Australia’s chances of finding momentum as Shamsi caught the left-hander Travis Head for nought, with a delivery which mirrored the one which saw his captain depart on 21.
Matthew Wade and Mitchell Marsh did well to steady the ship with an important sixth-wicket stand of 62, which included a decent batting display from Marsh (50), who earned his fourth half-century against South Africa.
Abbott and Shamsi combined once again to dismiss Marsh, John Hastings and Adam Zampa, as Australia only posted 10 runs for three wickets during this period. Wade trotted past his half-century, helped by Chris Tremain who fired on the opposite side, as Australia dragged themselves over the 150-run mark. The pair mustered a 46-run partnership, but good decision by Du Plessis to bring on Phangiso cleaned up the tail-end as Australia struggled to 167.
Career-best figures of 3-36 for Shamsi, 4-40 from Abbott and 2-17 from Phangiso rounded off a brilliant all-round bowling performance, as SA look for a fourth-consecutive victory against Australia.
Photo: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images