Australia cricket melts: South Africa top ODI team!

“The defeat was Australia’s fourth in succession” yes, it’s happened again! – the first time that has happened since 1997.

The first NZ match was stunning. I can’t believe nobody in England thought it was worth reporting. It was the first time EVER that Australia lost a one day match by ten wickets and for that matter, the first time NZ won by ten, as well!

Last night’s match had the consolation of seeing Australia score a substantial total, but nonetheless, they lost.

It gets worse. After losing four ODIs on the trot, Australia is no longer the top one-day team:

Try this for shock horror. The text is short and sweet: “South Africa have taken over from Australia as the world’s top-ranked team in one-day international cricket after New Zealand took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the Chappell-Hadlee series in Auckland on Sunday.”

This means Australia is not top of the rankings “for the first time since rankings were introduced in October 2002.”

South Africa recently beat Pakistan 3-1 in a home one-day series to edge closer to the Australians, who were also beaten by England in the tri-series finals at home a week ago.
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The Age was rather more emphatic about the implications! “Australia’s tour of New Zealand, and World Cup prospects, sank even further on Sunday with the tourists losing the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy in traumatic fashion by failing to defend a ground record score of 4-336 at Eden Park.”

An 84-ball 105 by Hussey had lifted the tourists to a daunting total, and it seemed they had turned the corner after an unprecedented 10-wicket hiding in game one of the series in Wellington on Friday.

However a superb knock of 117 by young Kiwi Ross Taylor, strong support from Peter Fulton (76 not out, 65 balls) and a destructive 52 in just 30 balls from Craig McMillan allowed the New Zealanders to race past the target with eight balls to spare.

The Australians were meek in the field, unable to maintain the pressure in the middle overs and dropped a crucial catch – McMillan grassed by Phil Jaques at deep backward square leg when the Kiwis still needed more than 100 runs at 10 per over. The defeat was Australia’s fourth in succession – the first time that has happened since 1997.

See Cricket World Cup prospect ‘dim’ – Breaking News – Sport – Breaking News for the full sad tale…

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