Australian captain Steve Smith celebrates his century during the third one-day international against South Africa at Kingsmead stadium in Durban.
Australian captain Steve Smith celebrates his century during the third one-day international against South Africa at Kingsmead stadium in Durban. Themba Hadebe

Smith admits bowlers haven't been up to speed

CRICKET: Australia will be looking to salvage some pride in Port Elizabeth on Sunday after slipping to a third straight one-day international defeat to South Africa.

The five-match series has been lost after Steve Smith's men could not defend 6-371 in Durban - the highest total in any ODI at the Kingsmead ground and the Aussies' fifth-best one-day total.

Captain Smith did his best, scoring 108, and along with David Warner (117) appeared to have set up the tourists for an important win.

But David Miller had other ideas, hitting 118 not out off 79 balls to give the Proteas an unlikely win.

Australia's inexperienced bowling attack once more came under fire, with Chris Tremain, Daniel Worrall, John Hastings and Mitchell Marsh all going for more than 60 runs in their spells.

Smith said he hoped that all the bowlers would learn from their experiences in this series but said this effort was not good enough.

"It's a very tough loss,” the skipper admitted. "Today was our quarter-final to keep us in the series and when you get to halfway and you've got 370 on the board, you don't lose too many games with 370 on the board.

"For them (bowlers), it's about trying to bowl their best ball as much as possible ... we just haven't been able to do it as well as we would have liked.

"It hasn't gone to plan so far, that's for sure.

"I'm sure the guys will be able to take a lot out of playing against these South African batters.

"There's some quality batters in their line-up and you've got to learn to play against the best if you want to play international cricket.”

This defeat in Durban was the first time in more than four years Australia has lost three consecutive one-day matches.

It was the second highest successful run chase in ODI history behind the Proteas' win at the Wanderers when the home side scored 9-438.



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