Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition)

Klaasen’s majestic 174 sets up series decider at the Bullring

- ONGAMA GCWABE ongamagcwa­be@icloud.com

IT rarely happens that three of the country’s biggest sporting codes are all in action in the same week as Bafana Bafana, the Proteas men and women, and the Springboks were all scheduled to be in action.

The week started with Bafana breezing past the DR Congo 1-0 at Orlando Stadium. That win on Tuesday night was followed up by a stellar Proteas men’s victory last night at SuperSport Park to further set up an exciting weekend for the country as the Springboks return to action tomorrow in the rugby World Cup in France.

Despite the precaution­ary measure that saw captain Temba Bavuma miss out yesterday, stand-in captain Aiden Markram and the rest of the players registered a crushing 164-run defeat over the Australian­s.

The chief destroyer was local boy Heinrich Klaasen who obliterate­d the Australian bowling attack.

The right-handed batter whacked a career-best 174 off 83 deliveries, a knock that produced 13 sixes and as many fours until he was dismissed off the last ball of the innings.

David Miller (82* off 45) shared in a record-breaking 222-run stand with Klaasen, as the pair took South Africa from 194/4 inside 35 overs, to 416 at the end of the 50th.

At some point, Adam Zampa (0/113 in 10 overs), who returned the jointworst figures in the half-century long history of ODI cricket, looked clueless as captain Mitchell Marsh kept walking up to the leg-spinner looking to understand where he needed to place his fielders.

With a mammoth total on the board, the stage was set for the bowlers to finish the game, a second golden opportunit­y to show up for the team after their failure to bowl out the Australian tail during the first ODI in Bloemfonte­in.

Lungi Ngidi (4/51) struck first, removing David Warner (12 off 13) and Mitchell Marsh (6 off 9) inside the first five overs.

Things went downhill for the visitors as Travis Head (17 off 11) retired hurt from a finger injury. Alex Carey (99 off 77) was the lone warrior for the visitors as they were reduced to 252/9 inside 35 overs.

Kagiso Rabada (3/41), Keshav Maharaj (1/27) and Marco Jansen (1/55) chipped in to help the hosts level the five-match series which will be decided tomorrow at The Bullring.

South Africa: 416-5 in 50 overs (Klaasen 174, D. Miller 82*, R. van der Dussen 62; Hazlewood 2/79) Australia: 252 in 34.5 overs (Carey 99; Ngidi 4/51, K. Rabada 3/41)

South Africa won by 164 runs, series tied 2-2

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