Clinical Proteas cruise to series whitewash over Aussies

JJ Smuts (Gallo)
JJ Smuts (Gallo)

Heinrich Klaasen put his stamp on the One-Day Series in typically emphatic style with a six into a packed crowd to put the seal on the Proteas' 3-0 clean sweep over Australia at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom on Saturday.

SCOREBOARD: Proteas v Australia, 3rd ODI 

It was their second successive six-wicket win in the series, this time with a substantial four and a half overs to spare, and means that they have now win eight games in a row in the ODI format at home to Australia and have, in all, won 11 of their last 12 matches around the world against these opponents. 

It will give the team a massive boost of confidence before they set off tomorrow for their testing three-match ODI Series against India which starts on Thursday. 

Man of the Series Klaasen finished with an unbeaten 68 off 63 balls (8 fours and a six) to give him an aggregate of more than 200 runs for the series, having only been dismissed once, and a strike rate in excess of 100 percent. 

He excelled as a finisher as good partnerships of 47 for the first wicket between Quinton de Kock and Janneman Malan and then 96 for the third between Jon-Jon Smuts (84 off 98 balls, 12 fours) and Kyle Verreynne (50 off 50 balls, 3 fours and 3 sixes) laid the foundation, both players scoring their maiden half-centuries. 

Man of the Match Smuts had a wonderful game all-round as he also took two wickets for the first time with his well-flighted left-arm spin. He was also employed in the final power play in the absence of Tabraiz Shamsi as part of De Kock’s bowling strategy throughout the series. 

The other major contributors to the win were the new ball pairing of Anrich Nortje and Lutho Sipamla who between them bowled 41 dot balls out of the 60 in the opening power play. Against a team that contains the top three that Australia do this amounted to a phenomenal performance.

They were well backed up by debutant Daryn Dupavillon and Andile Phehlukwayo as well as the spin of Keshav Maharaj to limit the target to 255. 

There were only two players who really kept the Australians in the game, first through Marnus Labuschagne’s maiden ODI century (108 off 108 balls, 8 fours) on what amounted to a fairy tale return to the area where he was introduced to cricket, and then through Josh Hazlewood who dismissed both the Proteas openers at a stage when Australia must have fancied their chances. 

But Smuts and Verreynne settled things down before Klaasen provided the finishing touches.

- CSA Media

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