St George's Park History
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

The Matches St George's Park - Aussies keep their hopes alive - Sa vs Aus
Aussies keep their hopes alive - Sa vs Aus
Neale Emslie

The Australians may be down, but they are not out and victory by 24 runs in the third Standard Bank limited overs cricket international at Sahara Oval St George’s yesterday has kept them in the hunt in the five-match series.

Despite a gritty fightback by A B de Villiers and Shaun Pollock, and some late heroics by Roger Telemachus, the home side, after winning the toss and fielding first, fell victim to a top-order collapse finally to be dismissed for 230 in 47.2 overs in reply to the Australians’ 254 for six.

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A dejected Graeme Smith leaves the pitch during the third one day international against Australia at St George's Park.
The result leaves Graeme Smith’s men leading the series 2-1, but it has provided the Aussies with some momentum from which to launch a fightback.

The remaining games will be played in Durban on Friday and Johannesburg on Sunday.

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Linkside schoolgirls at the third one day international against Australia at St George's Park. They are, left to right: Caruzeen Gardner, Sheree Stevens, Donne Morgan and Bianca Lundersted.
Smith’s decision to bowl first will be a talking point. He felt, however, that the pitch wouldn’t deteriorate and was encouraged by South Africa’s previous two ODIs at the same venue when they successfully chased targets in excess of 240 against England and New Zealand.

Choosing to bat second, however, has its own pressures and when wickets fall early, as they did yesterday, the boost it provides the bowling team is often enough to propel them to victory.

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A jubilant Shaun Pollock raises his arms after claiming a wicket during the third one day international against Australia at St George's Park. Australia won the match but lost the series.
The Aussies, scrapping to stay alive, took full advantage of the situation.

Opener Brett Lee (4/48) had his best performance of the tour, taking the wickets of Smith and Mark Boucher in separate spells, while Stuart Clark bowled tidily for the key wicket of Justin Kemp.

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Enthusiastic fans at the third one day international against Australia at St George's Park.
Three wickets fell for nine runs in five overs at one stage as the home side slumped to 69 for five. De Villiers (68 off 92 balls) and Pollock (69 off 74 balls) gave the home fans hope in a stand of 119 off 21 overs, but the rising run-rate forced them into risks which inevitably led to their downfall.

SA’s last flimsy chance went when De Villiers skied a big hit to cows corner where Brad Hogg almost made a hash of it but, in the end, brought off a spectacular one-handed catch just as the ball seemed to be clearing his head.

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There's no guessing which side this fan is supporting during the third one day international against Australia at St George's Park. Australia won the match but lost the series.
With 51 needed off four overs and nine wickets down, Telemachus launched a desperate assault which had the 16 584 crowd roaring.

He smashed Brett Lee for two sixes in taking 20 runs off the 46th over and then pounded Nathan Bracken into the main stand for his third six. But, off the next delivery, the leftarmer trapped him in front for 29 off 13 balls and it was all over.

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Fans at the third one day international against Australia at St George's Park. Australia won the match but lost the series.
In the field, South Africa bowled with good discipline, except for Telemachus, playing in place of Andre Nel who was rested so as not to overwork him after returning from injury.

But the Aussies, crucially, kept wickets in hand and never panicked. Although five runs an over may have been slightly below par, the visitors were able to lift the tempo by taking 83 off the last 10 overs. EP spinner Robin Peterson performed with great credit in his 10-over spell, failing to take a wicket but conceding only 39 runs. The highlight of South Africa’s effort in the field was the sensational run out of Simon Katich by De Villiers.

As the Aussie opener dashed through for a single, De Villiers dived for the ball and then, almost lying on his back and hardly able to see the stumps, he scored with a direct hit from side on.

It was a stunning effort, but typical of the raw talent the young Northerns player has shown he possesses. He later backed that up with his best ODI innings.

The Herald
March 6, 2006.

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