Australia to play for pride
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Player:HH Gibbs, BJ Haddin
Event:Australia in South Africa 2008/09

DateLine: 17th April 2009


The final match is a dead rubber after South Africa wrapped up the series in Port Elizabeth and the best Australia can hope for is a victory that would give them some momentum heading to the UAE to take on Pakistan. South Africa have deservedly retained the No. 1 one-day ranking and Australia have slipped so far that they now sit third behind India, although victory in Johannesburg would bump them back up to second.


The Wanderers will bring back incredible memories for both teams and anyone who watched the previous ODI between the sides at the venue. It was March 2006. It was the decider for a series locked 2-2. Australia posted 434 for 4 - the first time any team had passed 400 in a one-day international. Their new record stood for only a few hours as South Africa defied all expectations to chase down the total and finished with 438 for 9 when Mark Boucher slammed a boundary off Brett Lee to win with a ball to spare.


Herschelle Gibbs is the most dangerous batsman in South Africa's side. He had one such day three years ago, when his 175 from 111 balls made their total of 438 a possibility. He had another triumph on Monday, when he scored his 21st ODI century to set up another South African series victory in Port Elizabeth. The combination of an in-form Gibbs and a match at the Wanderers should sound alarm bells for Australia.


Australia's leading run scorer during the series has been Brad Haddin, who has looked more comfortable in the opening role than his partner Michael Clarke. A powerful top-order striker, Haddin has made two half-centuries during the series and with Shane Watson and Shaun Marsh both waiting for their opportunities to arrive in the UAE from next week, he will be keen to put one last stamp on the opening position before it once again becomes a wrestle for the job.


South Africa have decided to rest Johan Botha after his bowling action was reported by the umpires in the previous game and he is likely to head to Perth in the coming days to undergo testing. Wayne Parnell has also been left out after struggling in the past two matches to recapture the brilliant form he displayed in collecting 4 for 25 in Centurion. But the attack won't be significantly weakened with Makhaya Ntini and Morne Morkel named as the replacements.


Australia could have used the dead rubber to throw an opportunity to their unused members of the squad but Marcus North and Cameron White will remain drinks-waiters at the Wanderers. Neither man is in the touring party for the Pakistan series, which starts next week. Ben Laughlin is in that group and for the Johannesburg match has replaced Shane Harwood, who has resumed training with the Rajasthan Royals after his brief flirt with ODI cricket.


South Africa : Graeme Smith (capt), Herschelle Gibbs, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Roelof van der Merwe, Mark Boucher (wk), Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn, Makhaya Ntini.


Australia 1 Brad Haddin (wk), 2 Michael Clarke, 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 David Hussey, 5 Michael Hussey, 6 Callum Ferguson, 7 James Hopes, 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 Nathan Hauritz, 10 Nathan Bracken, 11 Ben Laughlin.



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