Cape Town:Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers shared a century partnership to set up a comfortable 25-run win for South Africa in the third One-Day International against Australia at Newlands on Thursday.
Kallis (70) and De Villiers (80) laid the foundation for a South African total of 289 for six, putting on 114 off 131 balls for the third wicket. With wickets in hand, South Africa were able to score 94 off the last 10 overs.
Australia made 264 for seven but were effectively out of the game after slumping to 114 for five with less than 20 overs remaining.
"It was a clinical performance," said South African captain Graeme Smith.
"We set up the innings well and had wickets in hand for the closing overs. 'Jakes' (Kallis) and AB showed a lot of skill and 289 was way above par."
Smith hailed the performance of spinners Johan Botha and Roelof van der Merwe, who strangled the Australian batsmen in the middle overs on an unusually dry Newlands pitch.
Off-spinner Botha ended a promising innings of 20 by Australian skipper Ricky Ponting before left-armer Van der Merwe took the wickets of Michael Clarke and Mike Hussey in one over.
Van der Merwe, in his second One-Day International, took three for 37.
Part-time off-spinner JP Duminy had David Hussey caught at long-on as Australia's hopes were effectively extinguished. "The team leadership have identified slow bowling looking ahead to the World Cup in Asia in 2011," said Smith.
"We've got to back the spinners to do a good job. Johan has been doing it on his own and Roelof stepped up tonight and bowled really well in his second One-Day International." Callum Ferguson (63) and James Hopes (63 not out) gave the Australian innings respectability with a sixth wicket stand of 97.
Australia finished with 264 for seven. "They just got too many," admitted Ponting.
"Not very much went our way tonight but we got within 25 runs. We know what we need to do, especially the top three batsmen, but we need an all-round better team performance." The win gave South Africa a 2-1 lead in the five-match series, which continues in Port Elizabeth on Monday.
Kallis was solid in making his 70 off 87 balls before a powerful pull off Brett Geeves picked out James Hopes at midwicket.
De Villiers batted with flair but had some luck with three edged boundaries just wide of the wicketkeeper as he made his 80 off 87 balls before he fell to Johnson in the first over of the final power play.
South Africa had only scored 233 after 45 overs at the end of their power play but some powerful hitting by Albie Morkel and Mark Boucher enabled them to add 56 in the last five overs.
Smith ended a streak of seven successive losing tosses against opposite number Ponting. He had no hesitation in batting on a ground where the side batting second under lights has often struggled.
Fast bowler Mitchell Johnson was outstanding for Australia, taking four for 34 in his ten overs.