South Africa vs Australia 5th ODI Match Preview

Australia will be desperate to claim a victory when they take on an in-form South Africa on Tuesday in the 5th match of the Triangular Series currently taking place in Zimbabwe. The past week has seen Michael Clarke’s side tumble from first position down to fourth in the ICC ODI rankings. In contrast, their opponents are on a hot streak of form having claimed 2 convincing wins out of two, including a 7-wicket victory over Australia chasing a target of 327.

What’s on the line?

South Africa have already secured their spot in Saturday’s decider and will likely be joined by Australia. Zimbabwe will be hoping for the match to go the way of South Africa as this would open the door for them to make it an all-African final, although they would still have to beat South Africa on Thursday. For this reason, the Australians will need to elevate their game if they are to emerge victorious. All 3 teams are building towards the World Cup in Australasia next year and would have come into this series looking to build momentum ahead of the international showpiece. Sunday’s loss to the hosts was the first in 31 years, and will have dented their confidence. The low-scoring affair saw Australia bundled out for 209 runs before Prosper Utseya secured the victory for the Zimbabweans with a stunning six.
Michael Clarke retires hurt | Photo by Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

Michael Clarke retires hurt | Photo by Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

The Australian batsmen offered very little resistance on Sunday. Brad Haddin chipped in with 49 of 66 balls and Michael Clarke recorded a stellar 68 not out, but other than the late cameo from Ben Cutting, they were poor. Credit also has to be given to Zimbabwe’s spinners who stifled their opponents, putting the ball in the right areas more often than not. On a positive note, Nathan Lyon delivered on calls to be brought into the side recording figures of 10-1-44-4. South Africa were impressive in their defense of a low score on Friday, having put 231 runs on the board after a promising start. They may look to use this match to give the likes of Riley Rossouw and Mthokozisi Shezi a game, allowing A.B. de Villiers and J.P. Duminy to iron out any injury niggles they may be carrying. Australia will also be without their captain Michael Clarke, after he aggravated his hamstring during Sunday’s match, eventually retiring hurt. Fortunately for the men from Down Under, paceman Mitchell Johnson is set to return for Tuesday’s clash.
Australia: (likely) 
1 Aaron Finch, 2 Phillip Hughes, 3 Mitchell Marsh, 4 George Bailey (capt), 5 Glenn Maxwell, 6 Steve Smith 7 Brad Haddin (wk), 8 and 9 James Faulkner/Kane Richardson/Ben Cutting/, 10 Mitchell Johnson, 11 Nathan Lyon
South Africa: (likely) 
1 Hashim Amla, 2 Quinton de Kock (wk), 3 Faf du Plessis, 4 AB de Villiers (capt), 5 JP Duminy, 6 David Miller, 7 Ryan McLaren, 8 Kyle Abbott, 9 Dale Steyn, 10 Morne Morkel/Aaron Phangiso, 11 Imran Tahir