Centurion [South Africa], September 16 (ANI): An all-round South Africa crushed Australia by 164 runs in the fourth ODI following a batting masterclass by Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller and an excellent performance by the pace duo of Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi on Friday.
With this victory, South Africa levelled the series by 2-2 with one more game to go.
Put to bat first by Aussies, SA was off to a good start once again with openers Quinton de Kock and Reeza Hendricks firing quick runs. They took SA to the 50-run mark in 11 overs.
Their partnership was cut short at 64 runs by Nathan Ellis, who cleaned up Hendricks for 28 off 34 balls with five fours.
Rassie van der Dussen joined de Kock to continue the assault on Aussie bowlers as SA reached the 100-run mark in 21.5 overs.
But Australia made a comeback into the game as Josh Hazlewood quickly dismissed Quinton (45 in 64 balls with five fours) and Aiden Markram, the stand-in skipper for just 8. SA was 120/3 in 25.1 overs.
SA's run-making slowed down as they reached the 150-run mark in 30.2 overs. Van Der Dussen reached his half-century, his 12th in 59 balls, with six fours and a six.
Klaasen and Dussen had put on a solid 74-run stand but it was broken by Hazlewood as the latter was dismissed for 62 off 65 balls, with seven fours and two sixes. Proteas were 194/4 in 34.4 overs.
SA reached the 200-run mark in 35.1 overs.
Miller and Klaasen switched into the next gear, with Klaasen going from his half-century to his third ODI century in a span of just 19 balls. His ton came in just 57 balls with seven fours and six sixes.
South Africa reached the 300-run mark in 43.2 overs.
Miller also reached his 22nd ODI half-century in 34 balls with three fours and three sixes. 350 runs were up for Proteas in 46.5 overs and Klaasen had reached his 150 in just 77 balls.
Klaasen-Miller completed their double-century stand in just 87 balls, helping Proteas reach the 400-run mark in 49.1 overs, using an unreal level of acceleration. SA ended at 416/5 in 50 overs, with Klaasen gone at the last ball for 174 in 83 balls with 13 fours and 13 sixes. Miller was unbeaten at 82 in 45 balls with six fours and five sixes.
Hazlewood (2/79) was the pick of the bowlers for Proteas. Adam Zampa gave away 113 runs in 10 overs without a wicket. Nathan Ellis, Michael Nesser, Marcus Stoinis got a wicket each.
In the chase of 417, Australia started off really badly. They were three down for 87 runs in 11.4 overs with David Warner (12), Mitchell Marsh (6) and Marnus Labuschagne (20) making no impact. Even Travis Head (17) had to retire hurt due to injury.
Alex Carey and Tim David (35 in 25 balls, with two fours and three sixes) tried to bring Australia back into the game with a 72-run stand for the fifth wicket. But ultimately, Carey was left to fight this battle on his own. He was the last wicket to go, scoring 99 in 77 balls with nine fours and four sixes.
Australia was all out for 252 in 34.5 overs and lost the match.
Ngidi (4/51) and Rabada (3/41) were the pick of the bowlers for Proteas. Marco Jansen and Keshav Maharaj got one each.
Here is how record books were rewritten in the match: -South Africa recorded their seventh total of over 400 in ODIs powered by a mind-blowing onslaught from Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller, the highest by any team.
-No other double-century stand in the history of ODIs has come at a better run rate than the 14.47 between Miller and Klaasen on Friday.
-Klaasen's knock makes this the eighth-highest score by a South African in men's ODIs (Gary Kirsten's 188 as the best score). The 57-ball hundred is also the second-fastest in ODIs against Australia after the 52 balls taken by Virat Kohli for his ton in Jaipur in 2013.
-Klaasen's knock is the fifth-fastest ODI ton by a South African, with AB de Villiers' ton in 31 balls being the fastest.
The 174 by Klaasen is the second-highest score by a batter from No.5 or below in ODIs after Kapil Dev's 175 against Zimbabwe in the 1983 World Cup.
Meanwhile, Adam Zampa registered an unwanted record to his name, conceding 113 runs in his ten overs, the joint-most by any bowler in men's ODIs. Mick Lewis of Australia had also conceded 113 runs in the famous series decider between these two sides in 2006 when South Africa chased down 435.
-The partnership between Klaasen-Miller of 222 runs is the fourth-biggest ever for a fifth wicket in ODI and South Africa's second-biggest for a fifth wicket in ODIs. The biggest fifth-wicket stand in ODIs is a 256-run stand between Miller and JP Duminy in 2015 against Zimbabwe.
South Africa was 2-1 behind in the ODI series heading into this game, but the batting performance here underlines their strength as a batting unit. With the 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup just over two weeks away, this showing against the No.1 ranked team in the ICC Men's ODI Team Rankings is as good a warning as any as they pursue a maiden World Cup title. (ANI)