Smith ton sinks Australia in one-dayer - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Smith ton sinks Australia in one-dayer

By Greg Buckle 27/02/2006 05:35:06 AM Comments (0)

Australia made a shocking start to its South African tour, losing the opening one-dayer by six wickets with Ricky Ponting joining the team's growing injury list.

The skipper's untimely injury, an abdominal strain suffered while batting in the nets on Saturday, left Australia with just 11 fit players.

All-rounder Andrew Symonds (hip flexor strain) and paceman Stuart Clark (bruised rib) also missed the game at SuperSports Park in Centurion.

Australia's selectors are now pondering whether to send a replacement batsman for the second one-day game at Cape Town on Friday, with Victoria's Brad Hodge and NSW opener Phil Jaques contenders.

Even worse news was South African captain Graeme Smith's form resurgence, smashing 119 not out after his unbeaten 89 in Friday's Twenty20 win.

Four of Australia's top six batsmen failed to fire in the rain-affected match, contributing a combined 39 runs.

The tourists scrambled to 8-229 from a revised 47 overs with half-centuries from Mike Hussey (56) and Michael Clarke (53).

Chasing a revised target of 204 from 41 overs under the Duckworth-Lewis method for rain-interrupted matches, the Proteas made 4-207 with 21 balls to spare.

Australian physio Errol Alcott said MRI scans showed Ponting had a low-grade strain which will be assessed late next week.

Australia's stand-in skipper Adam Gilchrist won the toss and decided to bat despite a ground wet from rain.

Clarke and Hussey put on a century stand for the fourth wicket after the tourists were on the brink of disaster at 3-25.

Makhaya Ntini, returning from a knee injury, produced a devastating spell of 2-17 from six overs, removing openers Simon Katich for two and Gilchrist for 14.

Shaun Pollock (3-23) trapped Damien Martyn lbw for one.

Pollock also dismissed Clarke and Hussey in consecutive overs before Brett Lee (38 not out) and Shane Watson (22) shared a vital 51-run stand.

Smith and AB De Villiers (43) set up South Africa's run chase with an 83-run partnership for the third wicket. Justin Kemp was 24 not out.

The skipper's sixth one-day international hundred came in 110 balls, confirming that he has shrugged off a dismal Australian tour.

It was his first ton against Australia and the highest one-day international score by a South African against Australia.

Smith hit the winning boundary and thrust his arms in the air, joyously acknowledging the 18,500 cheering fans.

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