JOHANNESBURG - South African all-rounder Marco Jansen took center stage with a stellar performance both with the bat and ball, propelling his team to a commanding 122-run victory over Australia in the fifth and final One Day International (ODI) held at the Wanderers on Sunday.
This triumph marked a stunning turnaround for South Africa, securing a series win after faltering in the initial two matches. Jansen played a pivotal role, unleashing an explosive inning of 47 runs off just 23 balls, aiding South Africa in recovering from a sluggish start to set a challenging total of 315-9, after batting first, in line with Australia’s choice. Later, armed with the ball, he delivered a career-best performance, clinching an impressive ODI haul of 5-39 from eight overs, ultimately confining the visitors to a mere 193 runs in 34.1 overs.
South Africa’s victory secured a 3-2 series triumph, injecting a surge of confidence as they prepare for the upcoming World Cup in India. The win was achieved despite the early test posed by the new ball, which swung effectively in the thin Highveld air.
Opener Quinton de Kock, who announced his retirement from ODIs after the World Cup, made an unremarkable exit in his final home innings. Additionally, Heinrich Klaasen, the hero of the previous match with his stunning 174-run performance, was dismissed for just six runs by Adam Zampa, who had suffered at Klaasen’s hands two days earlier.
However, South Africa bounced back as Aiden Markram and David Miller formed a crucial alliance, accumulating 109 runs off 107 balls for the fifth wicket. Tim David interrupted this partnership by dismissing Markram, who fell just seven runs short of a century, with his first delivery in ODI cricket.
David Miller and Marco Jansen continued to press the attack, with Miller contributing 63 runs to the total. Andile Phehlukwayoprovided a late surge, smashing three sixes in the final over to propel South Africa past the 300-run mark.
Australia displayed no restraint in their response, maintaining the aggressive approach that had characterized the series. However, Jansen emerged as the key obstructionist, securing two crucial wickets in the fourth over, dismissing David Warner and Josh Inglis.
Captain Mitchell Marsh and Marnus Labuschagne forged a promising partnership of 90 runs for the third wicket, keeping Australia on pace with the required run rate. Nonetheless, the partnership came to an end when Marsh was caught on the third man boundary off Jansen’s delivery after amassing 71 runs.
The towering bowler continued to demonstrate his prowess by dismissing Labuschagne (44) and Alex Carey (2), while spinner Keshav Maharaj contributed with three wickets to seal the innings. Reflecting on his exceptional performance, Jansen commented, “These type of performances give you confidence. I’d like to play like this more often, which is not easy.”