Stoi­nis fires up as Aus­tralia snap los­ing streak

Stabroek News - - SPORT -

(Reuters) - All-rounder Mar­cus Stoi­nis took three wick­ets to fire Aus­tralia to a seven-run win over South Africa at the Ade­laide Oval yes­ter­day, end­ing the hosts’ record seven-match los­ing streak and lev­el­ling the three-match one-day in­ter­na­tional se­ries.

Aaron Finch’s side will head to to­mor­row’s de­cider in Ho­bart buoyed by Aus­tralia’s first win in the short for­mat since Jan­uary and hav­ing de­liv­ered some badly needed cheer for the strug­gling cricket na­tion.

Sent in to bat, Aus­tralia again laboured against a for­mi­da­ble South African at­tack and were dis­missed for 231 in the 49th over af­ter squan­der­ing a num­ber of starts.

But a li­on­hearted per­for­mance by Stoi­nis and the Aus­tralian pace­men over­whelmed Faf du Plessis’s men who were re­stricted to 224 for nine off their 50 overs.

“We can build on this,” said Stoi­nis, who took 3-35 and ran out Ai­den Markram for 19 with bril­liant field­ing.

“It’s been a tough six months so just re­ally happy that we can chill out now, at least for a day and then get into the next game.”

Thrashed by six wick­ets in the opener in Perth on Sun­day, the win came af­ter an­other gloomy week for cricket in Aus­tralia, where the fall-out from a cul­ture re­view into the Cape Town ball-tam­per­ing scan­dal caused ruc­tions off the field.

On Fri­day, Finch had said the turmoil was caus­ing “doubts” in his team, and the un­cer­tainty seemed on show as four of their top six bats­men threw away their wick­ets af­ter pos­i­tive starts.

Finch chopped onto his stumps when coast­ing on 41, while Chris Lynn was un­done on 44, glov­ing an at­tempted hook off Kag­iso Rabada to the keeper.

Shaun Marsh (22) and wick­et­keeper Alex Carey (47) also fell to loose shots off pace­man Rabada, who fin­ished with 4-54.

A de­fi­ant 22 by tail-ender Adam Zampa helped Aus­tralia to a de­fend­able to­tal, and pace­men Mitchell Starc, Josh Ha­zle­wood and Stoi­nis com­bined to re­duce South Africa to 68 for four.

Du Plessis and David Miller shared a 78-run stand be­fore the skip­per dragged Pat Cum­mins onto his stumps for 47.

Ha­zle­wood re­moved Pre­to­rius for 14 to give the home side the up­per hand but there was still hope for South Africa with Miller an­chor­ing the lower or­der.

Stoi­nis crushed those hopes with a fiery spell, bowl­ing Dale Steyn for three be­fore trap­ping Miller lbw for 51. The bar­rel-chested all-rounder roared in tri­umph as Miller trudged off, with the game bro­ken open.

“That’s a tough pill to swal­low,” Du Plessis said of the loss. “I thought the bowlers were bril­liant for most of the game.

“My­self and Dave (Miller) were han­dling things re­ally well out there just needed to take it a lit­tle bit deeper.”

Mar­cus Stoi­nis

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