Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers Guide South Africa to Tri-Series Title With 6-Wicket Win over Aussies
Faf du Plessis made 96 from 99 balls and just missed out on his fourth century in five innings in the tri-series as South Africa chased down Australia's mediocre total of 217-9.
South Africa beat Australia by six wickets to win the tri-series one-day international final at Harare Sports Club on Saturday with another outstanding innings by Faf du Plessis. (Scorecard | Highlights)
Du Plessis made 96 from 99 balls and just missed out on his fourth century in five innings in the tri-series as South Africa chased down Australia's mediocre total of 217-9.
South Africa won with nearly 10 overs to spare, but Du Plessis was caught at mid-on trying to hit the four that would have won the game and brought him his century.
Captain AB de Villiers hit a four next ball to end on 57 not out and take South Africa home.
Fast bowler Dale Steyn set up the win with his 4-34 as Australia wilted to 144-8 and needed a ninth-wicket stand of 71 between tailenders James Faulkner (39) and Mitchell Starc (29 not out) to approach a respectable score.
Steyn did the damage, removing Phil Hughes early, fellow opener Aaron Finch for 54 and the middle order of Glenn Maxwell and Brad Haddin cheaply.
He was backed up by seamers Wayne Parnell and Morne Morkel, who took two wickets each.
Hashim Amla hit a half-century in South Africa's reply, but Du Plessis was outstanding and the anchor again, collecting eight fours and a six for his 96, another match-winning innings following his three centuries in South Africa's four league games earlier in the series.
Du Plessis came into the tournament without an ODI hundred but made up with a rich run of form to help topple Australia from No. 1 in the ODI rankings.
None of the Australian bowlers claimed more than one wicket as South Africa took advantage of winning the toss and choosing to bat second on a Harare pitch that's renowned for flattening out later in the day.