A stunning Steve Smith century led Australia to a series win against South Africa following a three-wicket victory over the Proteas in Melbourne on Friday. South Africa came into the match with a 100% record against the Australians at the MCG but suffered their first reverse at the ground in One Day Internationals since the 1992 World Cup, when they went down to England. AB De Villiers won the toss and batted but his side struggled at first to get any partnerships going.
Quinton De Kock (17), Hashim Amla (18) and Faf Du Plessis (28) all got in before getting out again. The captain and David Miller took the South Africans from 77/3 to 199/4 at which point Miller was caught by Smith off James Faulkner (2/45). Pat Cummins had De Villiers caught by Smith for a swashbuckling 91 from 88 balls and it proved to be a crucial moment as the tourists struggled to assert themselves and finished on 267/8.
Kyle Abbott trapped David Warner lbw for 8 to start the innings well for the South Africans. After a 35-run stand Aaron Finch and Shane Watson fell in quick succession and it was 48/3. Smith and George Bailey took the hosts to 86 before Bailey fell and George Maxwell did not last very long either to leave the home side reeling on 98/5 and South Africa were in sight of squaring the five-match series.
However Smith and Matthew Wade would restore hope for the Aussies. Wade contributed 52 and the momentum had shifted sufficiently by that stage and from 219/6 there was no turning back. Smith would be dismissed for 104 but it was never going to be enough as the hosts snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Australia’s victory with six balls remaining is their first ever against the Proteas at the MCG.