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Aussies Win Thriller
10 Mar 2006
By: Archie Mac


Australia have won the 4th ODI against South Africa by just one wicket, and as a result the teams go into the 5th and deciding match two games all.

When Brett Lee was dismissed caught at the wicket from the bowling of Makhaya Ntini, Australia had slumped to 218/8. Still 29 short of victory, and looked to be on their knees, but a fighting partnership of 23 by Nathan Bracken (7) and Stuart Clark (16*) pushed the Aussies to the brink of victory.

A great in-swinging yorker from Andrew Hall broke the alliance and seemingly the game, with just Mick Lewis to come the visitors still required six runs for victory.

By now most of the Australian players and staff in the dressing room had their heads in their hands, while the South African crowd were jumping and yelling and trying to inspire their team to victory.

The last wicket pair pushed and scampered four singles in the penultimate over, leaving just two runs required for victory when the final over commenced.

The bowler Hall came steaming in and attempted another yorker to last man Lewis, unfortunately for Hall and the Proteas he slightly miscalculated and the ball turned into a full toss, which Lewis turned onto the on-side for the winning runs.

Earlier South Africa had won the toss and elected to bat, in threatening conditions, which suggested the chance of rain.

Graeme Smith was out in unusual circumstances; in attempting to leave a ball from Nathan Bracken he was to slow in removing his bat and simply guided the ball into the Wicket Keepers hands (1/1).

When Bracken had Herschelle Gibbs caught at the wicket also for one (9/2) the Proteas were in trouble. Boeta Dippenaar though was in fine touch ane received some good support from the middle order eventually bringing up a fine century before being caught off the bowling of Brett Lee for 101 (145 balls).

Disappointingly no one was able to play the big inning at the other end, until yet again Shaun Pollock chimed in with a fine little cameo of 53* off just 33 balls. A score of 246 seemed a competitive rather then a winning score, especially as the Aussie bowlers had all performed in a workman like manner.

Australia started off confidently putting on 87 for the first wicket before Simon Katich (46) was well caught in the deep by Jacques Kallis off the bowling of Hall. Adam Gilchrist fell for 45 (off 44 balls) also to a fine catch this time by AB De Villiers off the bowling off Kallis, Australia 99/2.

Roger Telemachus then chimed in with two quick wickets to reduce Australia to 101/4 and it was suddenly game on. Australia continued to lose wickets steadily as Andrew Symonds tried to find someone who could stay with him.

When Roger Telemachus cleaned bowled Symonds for an explosive 76 (71 balls) which included 9 fours and two sixes, (218/7) the Proteas looked almost certain winners.

South Africa 246/9
Boeta Dippenaar 101, Shaun Pollock 53*
Nathan Bracken 2-36, Mick Lewis 2-38

Australia won by one wicket

Australia 247/9
Andrew Symonds 76, Simon Katich 46
Roger Telemachus 3-34, Jacques Kallis 2-46

Cricket Web Player of the Match
Andrew Symonds (Australia)

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