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South Africa won by 3 wickets.

Australia vs S Africa

Morkel magic downs Aussies

All-rounder finds powerplay magic once again to steer South Africa home

Morkel: Big hitting

Albie Morkel provided some more late fireworks to help South Africa beat Australia by three wickets in Sydney, and put them 2-1 ahead in the series.

South Africa needed Morkel's big-hitting 40 to rescue their innings, after newcomer David Warner had smashed 69 from 60 balls to help Australia reach 269 all out, despite a middle order collapse.

Chasing 270 to win, Herschelle Gibbs got South Africa off to a flying start with a quick-fire 64, but wickets tumbled and the tourists looked in trouble.

27-year-old Morkel stepped up to the plate again though, and his innings enabled the Proteas to reach their target with 21 balls to spare and move 2-1 ahead in the series.

Warner led the line superbly for the Aussies, hitting his 69 off 60 balls with six fours and two sixes, in an opening stand of 114 alongside Shaun Marsh.

That partnership should have set up a huge score but, after Warner had been bowled by Dale Steyn, the Aussies then lost four wickets for 44 runs in a middle-order collapse that really hurt their chances.

Collapse

Skipper Johan Botha was at the heart of it for South Africa, taking three of those wickets while Mike Hussey was run out for 12 as the hosts slipped to 188-5.

Botha got rid of Marsh on 43, before opposing skipper Ricky Ponting went for 29 and he caught Brad Haddin off his own bowling for six.

David Hussey and James Hopes compiled a 50 partnership to resurrect Australia's innings, but they were both removed by Makhaya Ntini, for 36 and 33 respectively, and Australia were eventually bowled out for 269.

Botha finished with figures of 3-32 off his ten overs, while Ntini and Steyn took 2-46 and 2-47 respectively to cap a good fightback by the visiting bowlers.

In South Africa's run chase, Hashim Amla was run out for 13 with the score on 29, but Gibbs made light of that early blow as he displayed his devastating best form.

Gibbs and Jacques Kallis combined for 96, but Gibbs was the main aggressor with his 64 coming from just 52 deliveries and including ten fours and a six.

Kallis continued his steady role but, when Gibbs fell, South Africa suffered a similar collapse to the Australians, with four of their wickets tumbling for just 38 runs.

Proteas stumble

125-1 quickly turned into 163-5 after Kallis followed AB de Villiers and JP Duminy back into the pavilion, and with the run rate climbing South Africa were in trouble.

A beaten-up Mark Boucher, who was hit on the toe whilst batting and injured a thumb keeping wicket, put on 46 with Neil McKenzie, before the latter was run out on 27.

Enter Morkel into the arena, and his big-hitting again came to the rescue for the Proteas as he took the game away from the Aussies again.

Ponting's men still have not figured out how to bowl to the left-hander, as he swatted away six fours and one six to add 40 to the total in just 22 deliveries to get South Africa within touching distance.

After he was caught by Hopes going for another big hit, Morkel had to leave the field but the damage was already done, enabling Botha to stroke a winning boundary and claim a three-wicket win with still 21 balls to spare.

A brave Boucher remained unbeaten on 31 as he too played a huge role in the run chase, but Morkel again made the difference late on as South Africa go 2-1 ahead heading into the next match in Adelaide on Monday - which is Australia Day.

Match Details

Date
23rd Jan 2009
Toss
Venue
Sydney
Umpires
I J Gould and R J Tucker

s africa BATTING CARD

Batsman R
Amla run out 13
Gibbs c Hussey b Johnson 64
Kallis c Haddin b Tait 60
de Villiers c Hussey b Bracken 5
Duminy b Hauritz 9
N.D. McKenzie run out 27
Boucher not out 31
Morkel c Hopes b Hauritz 40
Botha not out 4
Extras 2nb, 8w, 4b, 3lb 17
Total 46.3 Overs 270 - 7
Full Batting Card

australia BOWLING CARD

Bowler O M R W
Tait 9.3 0 55 1
Bracken 9 2 29 1
Johnson 9 0 71 1
Hopes 10 0 48 0
Hauritz 9 0 60 2
Full Bowling Card