Australia ends losing streak

BRISBANE, JAN. 20. Australia ended a three-match losing streak to beat South Africa by 27 runs in a crucial Tri-nations series match here on Sunday with Damien Martyn smashing his third one-day International century.

After scoring 241, Australia dismissed South Africa for 214 with 14 balls left. The win at the Gabba ground puts the World Cup limited-overs champions firmly back in the race for the title in the $ 95,000 tournament.

After each country has played four matches, New Zealand lead with three wins, followed by South Africa (two) and Australia (one). Each country plays four more qualifying matches before the best-of-three finals in early February.

It was South Africa's second successive defeat after it had lost to New Zealand on Saturday. South Africans made a bright start to their chase as Herschelle Gibbs and Gary Kirsten collected 34 runs in the opening seven overs. But the dismissal of Gibbs (18) and Kirsten (22) in quick succession by paceman Glenn McGrath left the Proteas at a shaky 49 for two in 13th over.

Neil McKenzie and Jacques Kallis then revived their fortunes with an enterprising stand of 77 from 94 balls before speedster Jason Gillespie trapped Kallis for 37 from 55 balls. Jonty Rhodes (two) had his first failure of the series and Mark Boucher was sent packing for 10 as Andrew Symonds struck twice, sending the Proteas to a troubled 153 for five in the 35th over.

Neil McKenzie, who had held together the middle order, was brilliantly caught by wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist off Gillespie, leaving South Africa a precarious 175 for six in the 41st over. With the help of a mighty six and five fours, McKenzie crafted an excellent 68 from 85 balls. South Africa lost its last five wickets for 39 runs, with paceman McGrath taking four for 30.

The feature of the Australian innings was a masterly third-wicket stand by Martyn and Ricky Ponting. Coming together with the side a tentative 29 for two wickets in the 12th over, they thrashed 171 runs from 187 balls in just under two hours. Their stand was a record for Australia's third-wicket in one-day Internationals in Brisbane.

Martyn slammed an unbeaten 104, including six fours, from 121 balls and Ponting cracked six fours and a six in his 80 from 95 balls. - AFP

The scores:

Australia: M. Waugh c Boucher b Elworthy 15, M. Hayden c Kirsten b Elworthy 10, R. Ponting c Gibbs b Klusener 80, D. Martyn (not out) 104, A. Symonds c Rhodes b Boje 3, S. Waugh (not out) 22. Extras (w-2, nb-5) 7. Total (for four wkts) 241.

Fall of wickets: 1-25, 2-29, 3-200, 4- 205

South Africa bowling: Pollock 10-1-28-0, Elworthy 10-1-53-2, Langeveldt 5-0-31-0, Kallis 7-0-38-0, Klusener 8-0-48-1, Boje 10-0-43-1.

South Africa: H. Gibbs c Bichel b McGrath 18, G. Kirsten c Gilchrist b McGrath 22, J. Kallis lbw Gillespie 37, N. McKenzie c Gilchrist b Gillespie 68, J. Rhodes c Gilchrist b Symonds 2, M. Boucher c and b Symonds 10, S. Pollock c Hayden b Symonds 18, L. Klusener b Bichel 16, N. Boje b McGrath 1, S. Elworthy (not out) 11, C. Langeveldt b McGrath 3. Extras (b-1, w-6, nb-1) 8. Total (in 48.4 overs) 214.

Fall of wickets: 1-34, 2-49, 3-126, 4- 135, 5-153, 6-175, 7-191, 8-199, 9-204.

Australia bowling: McGrath 9.4-0-30-4, Gillespie 10-1-60-2, Bichel 9-1-27-1, Warne 10-1-48-0, Symonds 10-0-48-3.

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