Steve Smith played a rapid knock of 31 runs in just 19 balls against South Africa © Getty Images (File Photo)
Steve Smith played a rapid knock of 31 runs in just 19 balls against South Africa © Getty Images (File Photo)

By Rajarshi Majumdar

Aug 27, 2014

George Bailey smashed a quickfire 66 and Aaron Finch‘s ton helped Australia to set a challenging target of 328 runs against South Africa in the second One-Day International (ODI) of Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014 at the Harare Sports Club on Wednesday. Phil Hughes and Finch opened the batting for Australia, and were off to a brisk start and made the stage for the middle-order to come and capitalise. Finch and Hughes added 92 runs in tandem until Hughes got out to a loose ball from Imran Tahir at the covers.

The South African bowlers struggled from the beginning. They were trying way too many things at the same time thus nothing worked well for them. Phil Hughes looked in fine touch as he reached his half century in no time. He was in tremendous form during his campaign with Australia A. On the other end, Aaron Finch placed his innings very nicely. He did not hurry to get his runs instead he waited for the correct time to alunch. Australia lost Mitchell Marsh right after Hughes got himself out, who came in handy with his bat in the first ODI against Zimbabwe. Australia skipper came in and settled down and then took apart the South African bowling attack. No one was spared.

Bailey and Finch steadied the Australian innings and put them in a commanding position. They were 234 / 2 in the 40th over. In the meanwhile Finch reached his 4th ODI century in just 111 balls. Bailey too reached his half-century in no time. The boundaries in the middle overs had dried up, courtesy – some good bowling from Tahir and Steyn. But the moment they took the batting powerplay in the 31st over, Australia did not stop after that. Bailey eventually got out to a incoming delivery from Morne Morkel. Finch too departed right after his century. There was no Maxwell show as well. Steve Smith played a little cameo at the end by smashing 31 runs from just 19 balls.

Tahir was the pick of the bowler for South Africa as he picked up two wickets by just giving away 45 runs in his 10 overs. All the other bowlers went for a lot of runs. Even Steyn and Morkel could not make any sort of impact on the Australian batsmen. South Africa will have to bat really well in order to chase down this challenging target of 328 runs in 50 overs against one of the best bowling attack in the world.

Brief scores:

Austrlia 320 for 7 in 50 overs ( Aaron Finch 102, Phil Hughes 51, George Bailey 66; Morne Morkel 2 for 63, Ryan McLaren 2 for 64, Imran Tahir 2 for 45) vs South Africa.

Full Scorecard

(Rajarshi Majumdar is a reporter at CricketCountry. He played cricket for all age levels under the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) for over 12 years. Apart from cricket he is an avid follower of football, supports Manchester United and a foodie at heart.)