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Proteas thrash Aussies

Allrounder Travis Head says Australia can still damage South Africa before next month's Test series.
Proteas thrash Aussies
Photo Source: AP

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Can't win a one-day international in South Africa with a second-string bowling attack? You can if you're South Africa.

The Proteas rested three of their frontline bowlers for Sunday's fourth ODI at St George's Park in Port Elizabeth but it mattered little as they defeated Australia by six wickets, reaching a victory target of 168 with 14 and a half overs to spare.

South Africa now hold a 4-0 lead in the series and will be chasing a whitewash in Wednesday's final match at Newlands in Cape Town.

Australia would have felt confident of posting a big score when Steve Smith won the toss and chose to bat first against a Proteas' lineup without new-ball pair Dale Steyn and Kogisa Rabada as well as leg-spinner Imran Tahir.

Less than 37 overs later Australia had been dismissed for a mere 167 with Kyle Abbott (4-40) and Tabraiz Shamsi (3-36) ripping through the tourists' batting lineup in their first appearances of the series.

The third bowler to come into the Proteas' lineup, Aaron Phangiso, also chipped in with the final two wickets as South Africa's makeshift attack put Australia's inexperienced bowlers to shame.

Only Mitchell Marsh (50) and Matthew Wade (52) showed any resistance for the tourists, who will create history as statistically the worst performing Australian team in a two-team ODI series if they lose at Cape Town.

No Australian team has ever lost five matches in an ODI series involving just them and another nation.

The only other time Australia have lost four matches during an ODI tour of South Africa was an eight-match campaign in 1994 which finished drawn at 4-all.

Australia's innings brought up two of their familiar batting failings in recent times - the moving ball and spin.

Abbott made an instant impression as he and new-ball partner Dwaine Pretorius (1-33) found some early movement to reduce Australia to 3-12 inside four overs.

Left-arm spinner Shamsi then picked up a trio of LBWs including the wickets of Steve Smith (21) and Travis Head (0) in the same over on his way to career-best figures of 3-36 off 10.

Phangiso then wrapped up the innings with two wickets in four deliveries to finish with 2-17.

One of Australia's newcomers on this tour, Chris Tremain (2-48), started well with the ball.

The Victorian picked up the wickets of Hashim Amla (4) and Quinton de Kock (18) as Australia were forced to bowl seven overs before the break due to the brevity of their innings.

When the match resumed Proteas' captain Faf du Plessis was the rock around the South Africans' run chase.

He made 69 as the hosts cruised to their victory target with a minimum of fuss, giving them the chance of a series whitewash when the two teams meet in the final ODI in three days.

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