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WC Warm-up: Clinical South Africa have it easy against Oz

Bangalore: South Africa produced a clinical all-round display to inflict a crushing seven-wicket defeat on defending champions Australia in a World Cup warm-up match at the near-empty Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Tuesday.

Captain Graeme Smith (65 off 81 balls) and Hashim Amla (60 off 73) laid the foundation for the run chase by sharing an unbeaten 131-run for the opening wicket, after Dale Steyn and Robin Peterson rocked the Aussie batting with three wickets each.

After taking a firm grip on the match, Smith and Amla decided to retire themselves out to make way for other batsmen as South Africa chased Asutralia`s 218 in 44.2 overs.

JP Duminy made the most of the opportunity and remained unbeaten on 47 while giving him company was AB de Villiers on 16.

Even though South Africa lost only one wicket, both Smith and Amla are considered as retired out and cannot bat the second time.

Earlier after opting to bat first, skipper Ricky Ponting and his deputy Michael Clarke scored sedate half centuries to guide Australia to 217 in 47.1 overs.

Ponting, who made 55 off 84 deliveries and Clarke (73 of 96 balls) lifted Australia from a difficult situation with a 122-run third-wicket stand after they lost both their openers inside the first five overs with just six runs on the board.

Apart from Ponting and Clarke, Cameron White (22) was the other top-order batsmen to have made notable contribution.

Steyn and Peterson shone with the ball for South Africa, picking up three wickets apiece giving away 21 and 45 runs respectively.

Lonwabo Tsotsobe (1/29) and Pakistan-born leg-spinner Imran Tahir (1/33) also returned among wickets for the Proteas.

It is Australia`s second consecutive defeat in warm-up matches after having lost to India by 38 runs in their first game on Sunday at the same ground.

Chasing a modest score, South African openers Smith and Amla found the going tough initially against the pace and bounce of Shaun Tait and Brett Lee but, when the opportunity came their way, they capitalised.

After the initial struggle, Smith opened up and welcomed first change Mitchell Johnson with back-to-back fours in the seventh over.

The duo mixed caution with aggression to raise South Africa`s 50 in 59 balls and then 100 in 116 balls.

Johnson was given some special treatment by both Smith and Amla as the left-arm pacer gave away 31 runs in his opening spell of four overs without any success.

Smith brought up his fifty in style, carrassing Steven Smith through the covers and then, a ball later, played a delicate cut to the thirdman fence, to add salt to the leg-spinner`s wound.

Amla was not to be left behind as he too reached his half-century with a four off Smith to the wide long-on fence.

PTI

From Zee News

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