Australia was finally defeated by South Africa by 111 runs in the third one-day international at Potchefstroom, keeping the series alive and preventing the visitors from taking an unstoppable 3-0 lead. After being given the opportunity to bat first, South Africa scored 338-6 thanks to a century-opening stand between Temba Bavuma and Quinton de Kock and an incredible hundred by Aiden Markram.
Australia, which was chasing 339, got off to a hot start by hitting Markram for a huge six in the first over. David Miller, who hasn’t had the best series at the plate either, dropped Warner later in the same over. The openers really put the pressure on South Africa, scoring at a rate of ten runs per over until Travis Head was dismissed in the eighth over after teeing off with three straight boundaries off Jansen’s opening over.
Following Mitchell Marsh’s dismissal, David Warner kept riding his luck after reaching a raging 27-ball fifty. But his run-out, with the score at 157-2, was what made the difference. Warner was removed from the game after a sensational direct hit from Maharaj, and the in-form Marnus Labuschagne was then stumped by a googly by Shamsi. Warner’s dismissal had set off a collapse, and it didn’t take long for Stoinis to be stumped by Maharaj and Tim David to be controversially caught by Fortuin.
Coetzee continued on and assisted South Africa in playing with precision, dismissing Carey and Sangha before taking the final wicket of Nathan Ellis to conclude the innings with four dismissals. As a result, Australia lost eight wickets for a total of 70 runs, sliding from a commanding position of 157-2 to 227 all out. South Africa ultimately prevailed by a score of 111 runs, preserving the series heading into Centurion.
A century-opening stand between Temba Bavuma (57) and Quinton de Kock (82) and a magnificent second ODI hundred from Markram helped South Africa build a huge 338 earlier. When the first wicket stand was well over a hundred, Travis Head broke it, and Bavuma was the next to go. Reeza Hendricks and Markram, however, kept up the tempo to fully exploit the foundation laid by the openers.
After Hendricks and Markram shared a fifty-run stand, there was a brief collapse as Klaasen and Miller continued to play poorly. However, a ferocious cameo from Marco Jansen and a now-comfortable Markram turned the tide against Australia as the South African scored 102 runs off the final 10 overs to post a respectable total in a game that needed to be won.
In order to go to the fifth ODI at the Wanderers, where the memorable fifth ODI between the two teams was played over seventeen years ago, the series will now travel to the Supersport Park in Centurion for the fourth ODI. The South Africans will be hoping to tie the series there.