Jan 31, 2009

Sport - Cricket;S Africa topples Australia to become new No. 1 side

Perth, Jan 30 (PTI) Australia were today dethroned as the number one team in one-dayers by South Africa who demolished the hosts by 39 runs in the fifth and final match to clinch the ODI series with an emphatic 4-1 margin. The ODI series triumph follows South Africa's 2-1 win in the Test series and though Australia remain the number one team in the longer version of the game, the Proteas return home with the new-found tag of being the top team in one dayers.

India remained the third-placed ODI team with 120 points while South Africans have five points more. Australia also have 125 points but were pushed to the number two slot as they were found fractionally behind the Proteas when decimal points were calculated.

Australia needed 289 runs for a win to remain the number one side but 249 was all they managed before folding in 49 overs with Michael Hussey (78) and Brad Haddin (63) making futile efforts with the bat. Earlier, Hashim Amla (97) and AB de Villiers (60) steadied South Africa with a 118-run stand and then JP Duminy (60 not out off 42 balls) provided the late burst as South Africa posted 288 for six wickets.

Australia faltered early in the chase and could not really recover from the early setbacks. The hosts needed a strong start from Shaun Marsh (5) and David Warner (22) but debutant South African Lonwabo Tsotsobe rocked the Australian boat with early double strikes and Ricky Ponting's men could never really recover from that

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