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Finch drives Australia to victory over South Africa

November 19, 2014 17:44 IST
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Aaron Finch of Australia celebrates after scoring a century during game three of the One Day International Series against South Africa at Manuka Oval. Photograph: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Australia's Aaron Finch hit his fifth one-day international century to drive the hosts to a 73-run victory over South Africa in Canberra on Wednesday and a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.

- Scorecard 

Finch put on 118 for the first wicket with David Warner (53) and went on to score 109 on a good Manuka Oval wicket before being bowled by Proteas skipper AB de Villiers. 

Shane Watson hit a bright 40 but it fell to Steve Smith to haul Australia out of a mid-innings slump with a sparkling unbeaten 73 from 55 balls that gave Australia an imposing total of 329 for five.

Hashim Amla of South Africa celebrates and acknowledges the crowd after scoring a century. Photograph: Matt King/Getty Images

South Africa are rarely daunted by any target and openers Hashim Amla (102) and Quinton de Kock (47) started at a brisk pace at the ground where they will play Ireland in a group match at the World Cup next year. 

Their opening stand ended with 108 on the board when De Kock got a top edge to a Josh Hazlewood delivery that was caught by Mitch Marsh but Amla dug in as a couple of wickets fell at the other end to reach his 17th one-day century. 

By now he had been joined by De Villiers and their partnership looked like it might give the tourists a series lead going into the final two matches, in Melbourne on Friday and Sydney on Sunday.

Mitchell Starc (C) of Australia celebrates with team mates after taking the wicket of Dale Steyn of South Africa. Photograph: Matt King/Getty Images

The match turned, however, when they were dismissed in successive overs, Amla clean-bowled by Hazlewood (3-51) and De Villiers trapped leg before by Kane Richardson for 52. 

Australian left-arm paceman Mitch Starc took four for 32 in mopping up the South African tail, which was shortened with the tourists on 256-9 when spinner Imran Tahir failed to bat after picking up a knock in the field.

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