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Gibbs helps South Africa wrap up the series
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter


Scorecard:South Africa v Australia
Player:HH Gibbs, AB de Villiers, BJ Haddin
Event:Australia in South Africa 2008/09

DateLine: 13th April 2009

 

South Africa grabbed the gift offered to them by Australian skipper Ricky Ponting with hands, piling up a formidable 317/6 and then restricting the visitors to 256 to win the ODI series. The hosts now have a 3-1 lead in the five-match series.

 

Herschelle Gibbs and AB de Villiers negated whatever plans Ponting had when he won the toss and decided to field. Gibbs has been missing out on big ones recently but he found the perfect time to get to three figures. His 110, the 84 runs scored by De Villiers and their 136-run stand effectively ended Australiaís assault.

 

Aussie openers Brad Haddin and Michael Clarke did, for the time that they were together, it looked like Australia may well be on their way to an improbable win. But once Haddin fell in the 21st over after a stand of 129 runs, and Clarke followed in the 24th, things changed radically. The change was brought about by the new South African discovery, Roelof van der Merwe. He took care of Clarke, Callum Ferguson and Michael Hussey in double quick time with slow left-armers and once he had done that, there was little left in the Australian armoury.

 

Ponting did try to get things going again with James Hopes, but there was just too much to do. Dale Steyn took care of the captain and then polished off the tail to give South Africa a winning lead. Graeme Smith and his men were patient, waiting that one wicket could change it all, and so it proved. Earlier, the third-wicket partnership between Gibbs and De Villiers was the cornerstone for the South Africans and whatever plan Ponting had taken in when the game began, looked doomed at the break. The stand came off just 123 balls, and things didnít look very good at all for the Australians.

 

The thought processes of the two players seem to be totally different from each other, the former being seemingly laid-back and not too bothered, just going about whacking the ball. De Villiers, on the other hand, wants to prove something every time he bats, and does it well most of the time. The carnage can be seen in the bowling figures as well. Nathan Bracken and Mitchell Johnson largely never get carted around so much, but the figures told their own story here. Not one bowler, including these two, went at less than 5.5 runs per over as the middle-order batsmen really made merry.

 

This, when Albie Morkel had very little to do with the proceedings. Mark Boucher seems to be able to do his stuff almost unnoticed and he did his bit efficiently as Duminy did the power hitting.

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