David Miller might not be one of the consistent cricketers in world cricket, but when he gets his game going, there is no stopping the left-hander. The same was witnessed in the third ODI against Australia on Wednesday, as the left-hander scored 79-ball 118 to help chase down a mammoth total of 371 runs, which paved the way for South Africa victory in the series as well.
Australia and South Africa were involved in a historic match in 2016 as well, which witnessed the Proteas script the highest run chase, scoring 438 runs in the second innings to win a thriller. Hence, this stunning win in the third ODI on Wednesday is the second highest runs chase in history.
Australia, who came into the third ODI 0-2 down, were required to come up with some quality cricket to have any chance of coming back into the series. Their batsmen did their job, primarily with David Warner and Steve Smith scoring a magnificent ton. The left-hander scored 107-ball 117 while the skipper hit 108 runs from 107 balls.
The duo played an important role with the bat to help Australia score 371 runs, which looked a winning total. But South Africa batsmen had some other plans. They got off to a brilliant start with Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla scoring runs at a great rate in the initial overs.
Besides Kock, who scored 70 runs, none of the batsmen could convert their starts into meaningful scores. After the dismissal of RR Rossouw, with the score reading 179/4, there was great onus on Miller to see his team cross the finishing line, which was by no means easy.
Miller took time to get going as he initially scored 5 runs from 15 balls, but he got into his groove after hitting Adam Zampa for two fours and one six in the 28thover. He had take it upon himself to score most of the runs as South Africa required 104 runs from last 12 overs, batting with the tail.
The South African batsmen hit some incredible fours and sixes in the last few overs, with some decent support from Andile Phehlukwayo, who scored crucial 42 runs. The hosts required 17 runs from the last two overs, and with the Proteas scoring 14 runs in the penultimate over, they had the game in the bag, and won the match in the final over with four balls to spare.
Miller, after winning the match, said it was an-around effort, which helped them seal the match.
"It's a special moment, it was really nice to see the team home. Credit to the other batters as well. A great team performance. It was nice to do well in Australia, I'm enjoying my cricket, nice to come in with confidence. It was a great wicket. I thought if we batted 50 overs we'd get pretty close. Andile was really nervous, I remember those days, he got his confidence. Just told him to remember the basics," Miller said during the presentation ceremony.