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Last Updated: Sunday, 26 February 2006, 16:50 GMT
Smith ton enough for South Africa
First one-day international, Centurion:
South Africa 207-4 (37.3 overs) beat Australia 229-8 (47 overs) by six wickets (D/L rule)

Graeme Smith celebrates his century with Justin Kemp
Smith played a captain's innings to steer his side to victory

South Africa beat an injury-ravaged Australia by six wickets under the Duckworth-Lewis rule to claim the spoils in the first one-dayer.

Graeme Smith continued his resurgence in form with an unbeaten 119 to guide the hosts home with 21 balls remaining.

Australia hit 229-8 from 47 overs, and after several rain stoppages South Africa's final target was 204 from 41.

Shaun Pollock also had a terrific match for the Proteas, taking 3-23 from his 10 overs despite a slight knee injury.

When captain Ricky Ponting was ruled out with an abdominal strain on the eve of the match, the Aussies were forced to field the only 11 remaining fit players in their squad.

The tourists also had to put out a side lacking at least one specialist batsman and things were not helped for them when Adam Gilchrist elected to bat first on a wicket that gradually became easier to bat on.

Michael Clarke and Mike Hussey added 100 for the fourth wicket after the tourists slumped to 25-3, but when both men fell after making fifties, there was a chance the tail might fold.

However, when play resumed after rain for the final seven overs, Brett Lee swung his willow merrily to club 38 not out off 28 balls.

Shaun Pollock
Pollock's tight bowling restricted Australia to a modest total

He hit two sixes off Andre Nel, whose final over cost 21 runs, and Nathan Bracken - unusually run out off a wide - added two sixes off Makhaya Ntini's final over.

Intially chasing 233 from 47 overs, South Africa's innings was given a far more solid platform by Smith.

He grew in confidence during a breezy partnership of 83 in barely 10 overs with AB de Villiers.

De Villiers was finally out for 43 - his best score in one-day internationals - after giving most of Australia's bowlers a torrid time.

Mark Boucher soon became the second South African after Herschelle Gibbs to be run out.

But Smith reached his century with a typically powerful on-drive for four off Brad Hogg and controlled proceedings with Justin Kemp when the rains came again.

After one further stoppage the two batsmen returned with a further 28 wanted off 48 balls - and the formalities were soon completed.

Smith's score was the highest by a South African in one-dayers against Australia - beating Gary Kirsten undefeated 112 in Melbourne in 1994 - and earned him the man of the match award.




SEE ALSO
Ponting joins Aussie injury list
26 Feb 06 |  Cricket
Australia in South Africa 2006
31 Dec 05 |  Future tour dates


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