David Warner scores his 6th ODI hundred vs South Africa © Getty Images
David Warner scores his 6th ODI hundred vs South Africa © Getty Images

Saint Kitts: David Warner compiled a sixth one-day international century to anchor Australia’s formidable total of 288 for six against South Africa in the fourth match of the tri-nation series at Warner Park in St Kitts on Saturday. On a pitch that allowed for greater freedom of stroke play than obtained in the first three matches of the tournament at Providence in Guyana, the prolific opening batsman was more workmanlike than explosive in compiling 109 off 120 deliveries with 11 fours and two sixes. LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: Australia vs South Africa, Tri-Nations Series, Match 4 at Basseterre

Warner featured in a second-wicket partnership of 136 with Usman Khawaja, who stroked his way to 59 and had  seemed to set lay the platform for an assault over the last ten overs towards a total well in excess of 300. Yet the exact opposite prevailed with only another 102 runs being added off the remaining 16 overs after Warner fell to medium-pacer Wayne Parnell, pulling a short delivery unerringly to Hashim Amla at midwicket at the start of the 35th over.

Amla was again called into action a few overs later to snare the chance at backward square-leg offered from Khawaja’s top-edged sweep off Aaron Phangiso. Phangiso, the left-arm slow bowler, and wrist-spinner Imran Tahir were the pick of the bowlers for the Proteas at that critical stage of the innings, their variety and accuracy thwarting the best efforts of the Australian batsmen to go after them.

In his 57th ODI, Tahir had provided the breakthrough when he bowled Aaron Finch for 13 to end an opening stand of 48 with Warner after Australian captain Steve Smith chose to bat first on winning the toss.

Tahir added the scalp of George Bailey lbw in the final rush for runs to lift his tally of wickets in this format of the game to 98. Should he claim two or more victims in South Africa’s next match, against the West Indies on Wednesday at the same venue, he will eclipse the standard of fast bowler Morne Morkel (59 matches) as the fastest South African to 100 ODI wickets.

Smith kept the flagging innings going with an unbeaten 52 off 49 deliveries that included five fours and one six. Routed for just 142 by the Proteas in the last of the three matches in Guyana four days earlier, Australia made three changes for the re-match with a South African side that leads the three-team standings on net run-rate over the Aussies following that 47-run victory.

Bailey replaced the struggling Glenn Maxwell in the batting line-up while Mitchell Starc and Nathan Coulter-Nile continue to alternate the key strike-bowling, Starc filling the spot on this occasion. All-rounder James Faulkner is making his first appearance in the competition at the expense of experienced off-spinner Nathan Lyon.

With Rilee Rossouw ruled out of the tournament with a shoulder injury sustained in the field last Tuesday at Providence, Faf du Plessis took his place having recovered sufficiently from a broken finger that has kept him out of action so far on this Caribbean tour. Fast-medium bowler Kyle Abbott replaced left-arm wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi in the other South African change.

Brief scores:

Australia 288 for 6 in 50 overs (David Warner 109, Usman Khawaja 59, Steven Smith 52*; Imran Tahir 2 for 45, Wayne Parnell 1 for 34) vs South Africa.