De Kock, Behardien lift South Africa to 280 –

Innings South Africa 6 for 280 (De Kock 107, Behardien 63, Cummins 3-54) v Australia
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Quinton de Kock raises his sixth ODI century, Australia v South Africa, 5th ODI, Sydney, November 23, 2014

Australia need 281 to claim the No. 1 ranking ahead of next year’s World Cup, after Quinton de Kock‘s sixth limited-overs hundred lifted South Africa to a sturdy total despite the absence of their captain AB de Villiers at the SCG.

On a fine day interrupted by one brief shower, de Kock played with poise and timing to guide the visitors innings, receiving decent support from Rilee Rossouw, who had been included in de Villiers’ place. Farhaan Behardien chimed in with a freewheeling 63 at the finish, an inside-out drive over cover for six from Mitchell Starc the shot of the innings.

Having won the series in Melbourne, Australia’s bowlers lacked a little in the way of penetration, though Pat Cummins again bowled usefully through the middle of the innings and deserved his three wickets.

Hashim Amla tossed the coin because South Africa chose not to risk de Villiers after he suffered a rib complaint in the fourth match at the MCG, which Australia won to seal the series. Dale Steyn was also rested having played the first four matches, meaning a return to the team for Morne Morkel. Australia made one change to the team that won from a long way back at the MCG, recalling Josh Hazlewood for the injured Nathan Coulter-Nile. A perfect day and an evenly grassed pitch greeted the teams, though the crowd was again a slim one.

De Kock knew it would be his day from the first ball he received, a yorker from Starc that he jammed down upon, squeezing it narrowly past the stumps and down to the fine leg boundary. He was more comfortable against Hazlewood and James Faulkner, while also carting 11 from Shane Watson’s single over.

Amla was content to bat in de Kock’s slipstream early on, but his attempt to push along resulted in his wicket when a fierce drive at Glenn Maxwell resulted in an outside edge that was held smartly by Matthew Wade up to the stumps.

Rossouw played diligently in support of de Kock, and looked good for more than his 51 when the calling of the batting Powerplay caused him to miscue a pull to mid on. The shower came and went, and on resumption, Faf du Plessis picked out George Bailey at cover.

These reverses could not detract from de Kock’s innings, and after his dismissal touching an attempted upper cut at Cummins through to Wade, Behardien provided a reminder of why he is in South Africa’s World Cup plans. Nonetheless, the world’s top ranked team should expect to chase 281 on the SCG’s fast outfield, and Australia will reclaim that title if they do so.

De Kock, Behardien lift South Africa to 280 –

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