Hussey clinches series victory

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The Independent Online

Australia shone with bat and ball to beat South Africa by three wickets to claim a 2-1 series victory after the third one-day international at Kingsmead yesterday.

The visiting bowlers, led by paceman Mitchell Johnson with two for 37 and spinner Xavier Doherty with two for 33, restricted the hosts to 222 for six.

Australia's top seven batsmen all reached double figures as they registered 227 for seven with 15 balls to spare. Opening batsman Shane Watson top-scored with an aggressive 49 off 46 deliveries, while Michael Hussey showed his experience to steer his team home with an unbeaten 45. JP Duminy took two for 29 for South Africa while fellow spinner Johan Botha returned particularly miserly figures of one for 21 in 10 overs.

Earlier, the home side won the toss and elected to bat on a slow pitch which made strokeplay difficult. Hashim Amla (52) and Jacques Kallis (54) were the mainstays for South Africa. The 36-year-old Kallis achieved yet another milestone in his illustrious career, moving past India's Sourav Ganguly to become the fifth highest run-scorer in ODI cricket with 11,372 runs.

Australia's bowlers kept a good line and length throughout and strangled the batsmen to such an extent that the hosts could manage only 48 runs from the last 10 overs. The teams now turn their attentions to the two-match Test series, which starts in Cape Town on 9 November.

Meanwhile, defiant batting from Tharanga Paranavitana and Kumar Sangakkara lifted Sri Lanka's hopes of turning the second Test against Pakistan their way yesterday. The Lions, however, still trail by 76 runs after conceding a first-innings lead of 164.

Paranavitana compiled an unbeaten 42 off 141 balls in three hours as the Sri Lankans dug in, while fellow left-hander Sangakkara fought his way to 29 not out off 86 deliveries.

Pakistan had earlier stretched their overnight 281 for 4 to 403 all out midway through the day. The hosts' innings had been built around Azhar Ali's century on the second day, with Asad Shafiq (59) and wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal (41) consolidating Pakistan's advantage.

Shafiq led the hosts after they lost captain Misbah-ul-Haq (41) in the second over. Shafiq then forged telling partnerships with Saeed Ajmal and Akmal to restore Pakistan's edge.