Monday, April 13, 2009

AUSTRALIA VS SOUTHAFRICA 4th ODI:South Africa seal series with 61-run win


 Herschelle Gibbs made an emotional return to form as he and AB de Villiers thrashed Australia's bowling to put South Africa in a strong position in the fourth one-day international at St George's Park here on Monday.Gibbs hit 110 as South Africa made 317 for six after being sent in to bat on a slow pitch.Gibbs and de Villiers (84) put on 136 off 123 balls for the third wicket in a partnership filled with sparkling strokes and audacious running between wickets.When he reached his 21st one-day international century, Gibbs acknowledged the crowd then sank to his haunches and appeared to wipe tears from his eyes. It was the first major innings played by Gibbs, 35, since drink driving charges against him were withdrawn last month in return for agreeing to do 100 hours of community service. Earlier in the season he spent time in rehabilitation for alcohol-related problems after his arrest last year.Ponting's decision to send South Africa in to bat in a must-win game for Australia was influenced by a good record for teams batting second on the small Port Elizabeth ground, including a successful chase by Australia, who were set to make 327 in 2001/02. Australia have won four out of five previous matches against South Africa at the ground.The South African batsmen struggled to adjust to the slow pace of the pitch early on but that changed as the stand between Gibbs and De Villiers gathered momentum.Gibbs hit two sixes and nine fours in a 116-ball innings, while De Villiers was in dazzling form, making his runs off 74 deliveries with three sixes and six fours before being caught when he attempted to slog Mitchell Johnson over midwicket in the third over of the batting power play.South Africa lead the five-match series 2-1.

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