Amazing end to South African series

South Africa has claimed the one-day series in the most spectacular fashion following a world-record breaking runfest in Sunday night's one-day international decider against Australia in Johannesburg.

The sides shared a massive 872 runs in a match to remember for the Wanderers crowd with the Proteas concocting a remarkable revival after Australia had posted the largest all-time one-day international total of 434-4.

Undaunted by an improbable run chase, the South Africans followed the Aussies' world-record total with a score of 438-9, becoming only the second side to pass 400 runs in a ODI and win the match with one ball to spare.

Man-of-the-match Herschelle Gibbs totally dominated the Australian attack, bulldozing his way to his highest one-day innings - breaking his previous best of 153 against Bangladesh in 2002-03 - following a let-off when Nathan Bracken dropped him on 130.

The talented No3 struck a mighty 28 boundaries in his 175 - the tenth highest one-day international score in history - including seven sixes, sharing a 187-run second-wicket stand with skipper Graeme Smith.

But with Gibbs looking likely to lead the Proteas to the most improbable of victories, he crashed Andrew Symonds to the rope attempting a third successive six but found only the safe hands of Michael Clarke.

Clarke's assured handling sent Gibbs packing after an extraordinary exhibition of boundary hitting as the Wanderers crowd dreamed of watching two sides break the previously untouched magic milestone of 400 runs.

Smith had earlier holed out to Mike Hussey at deep midwicket after battering 90 off 55 balls.

But Mark Boucher held firm in a pressure-cooker atmosphere and despite losing partners at a rapid rate as Bracken made amends for his dropped catch, the wicketkeeper saw South Africa home with a flamboyant 50 off 43 balls.

Bracken finished with figures of 5-67.

The Aussies had earlier taken advantage of a flat wicket and a lightning outfield to pummel the Proteas pacemen to all quarters of the Wanderers ground and pass 400 for the first time in the history of the one-day game.

Fired-up captain Ricky Ponting skippered the onslaught with Australia's second quickest one-day century and the 13th fastest of all-time, passing 9000 ODI runs into the bargain.

He shared a quickfire century stand with Simon Katich (100 from 78 balls) before usurping that with Hussey when the pair bought up the milestone in a miniscule 66 deliveries in front of a stunned crowd.

The third wicket pair eventually added 158 before Hussey was dismissed in the 47th over after speeding to 81 from 51 balls.

Ponting's 164 - his highest one-day score for Australia - included a mammoth 13 fours and nine sixes, one a huge blow off the bowling of Jacques Kallis was sent packing over the stands and into the street outside.

In his 250th one-day international for Australia, Ponting passed 150 for the first time before falling three overs from the close when he picked out Dippenaar on the boundary to hand Roger Telemachus his second wicket.

South Africa's one-wicket win broke a host of records including most fours and sixes in a one-day game as well as the highest run aggregate between two sides.

Australian paceman Mick Lewis also finished with the most expensive figures in one-day history after being crashed for 113 runs off 10 overs.

"We batted really well and posted an unbelievably big total," Ponting said afterwards. "But Herschelle and the boys were just too good."

"They reeled the runs in and deserved their win."

With Thanks To

ANZ Ford
Burger King Tui CCC Powerade Caltex 2 Degrees GJ Gardner BLK
Sky Pitch Radio Sport TAB Accor Hotels Les Mills