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Jansen stars with bat and ball as SA clinch series

Proteas in positive mood ahead of World Cup in India

Stuart Hess Sports reporter
SA cricket team celebrates beating Australia at the Wanderers on Sunday, clinching the ODI series
SA cricket team celebrates beating Australia at the Wanderers on Sunday, clinching the ODI series

By any standard, a recovery from 2-0 down in a series against Australia is not something for any Proteas supporter to sniff at.

Days before they head to India for the World Cup, Temba Bavuma’s side gave themselves a much-needed confidence boost with a 122-run win that secured the series 3-2.

There may be a few injury concerns and question marks about the fast bowling but in at least one crucial area, Marco Jansen provided cause for optimism at the Bullring. He produced a proper all-round match-winning effort to deliver career-best performances with both bat and ball.

Much depends on the 23-year-old affectionately known among his teammates as “Plank”. SA’s top six batting is strong, and all the batters have contributed at some stage in this series. However, there are understandably some worries should they find themselves in trouble that SA could come up well short of a proper total.

That scenario did present itself in the first match of the series in Bloemfontein, Free State, when the Proteas slumped to 100/5 midway through their innings. On that occasion, Jansen shared a 57-run partnership with Bavuma.

In the third match in Potchefstroom, North West, he scored 32 off 17 balls as part of a 67-run partnership with Aiden Markram.

Jansen bashed his way to 47 off just 23 balls yesterday, with four fours and three sixes as SA once again finished their innings in thrilling fashion. It may not have been 17 runs an over as was the case on Friday in Centurion, but the home team still scored 113 runs in the last 10 overs, with Jansen, and then surprisingly Andile Phehlukwayo, again playing in place of Sisanda Magala, prominent.

The latter, after taking 10 balls to reach eight, smashed 31 off the next nine balls he faced, as SA posted 315/9.

Markram’s 93, another well-constructed innings on a tricky pitch that offered the seamers plenty of assistance, and David Miller’s 63, were highest scores for the Proteas.

Jansen then turned the match decisively the home team’s way with the ball. After a dreadful opening over by Gerald Coetzee, Bavuma wasted little time in handing the ball to Jansen, a decision that bore fruit immediately.

Jansen eventually finished with 5/39 and in the process confirmed that any talk about SA not having a seam bowling all-rounder for the World Cup could cease. The Proteas head to India for the World Cup on Saturday

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