Smith, Amla star in Proteas’ win over Aussies

Openers Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla struck half-centuries on Tuesday to guide South Africa to a comprehensive seven-wicket victory over Australia in a World Cup warm up match at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Captain Smith smashed 65 and Amla made 60 as South Africa raced to its target of 218 in 44.2 overs, condemning three-time defending champions Australia to a second successive practice defeat before the World Cup.

Both Smith and Amla retired in a bid to give others batting practice.

JP Duminy was not out on 47 and AB de Villiers on 16, when the target was achieved.

Australia, which lost to India two days previously, were all out for 217 as pace bowler Dale Steyn and left-arm spinner Robin Peterson bagged three wickets apiece.

South Africa took control early in their innings, blunting the pace attack of Brett Lee, Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson with some determined batting.

Smith, who later used his feet well against the spinners, decided to retire on 65 after smashing 10 fours off 81 balls.

Amla followed in similar fashion a little later with a neat 60 off 76 balls with seven fours.

“It is lovely to get some confidence ahead of the World Cup,” Amla said. “Australia is a very good team and it was good to play well against them. But then, this was just a practice game.”

With both openers retiring and number three batsman Faf de Plessis run out, Australian bowlers failed to take a single wicket in the match. — Sapa-AP

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