South Africa-born Marnus Labuschagne made his first ODI century in the country of his birth, yet it came in a losing cause as Australia suffered a series whitewash against the Proteas.

Labuschagne scored 108 out of the tourists' 254-7, bouncing back from a duck in Bloemfontein last time out to reach three figures in Potchefstroom, which is around 40 minutes away from where the batsman grew up before moving Down Under.

Anrich Nortje (2-35) and JJ Smuts (2-42) had kept Australia to a below-par total which never looked like being enough given neither Mitchell Starc nor Pat Cummins were in their attack.

Smuts (84), Kyle Verreynne (50) and the in-form Heinrich Klaasen (68 not out) all registered half-centuries as South Africa claimed a six-wicket win with 27 balls to spare, sealing a 3-0 series victory.

South Africa made a strong start when opener David Warner nicked behind off Nortje on just four and Steve Smith was pinned lbw by Andile Phehlukwayo, the decision remaining with the umpire's call following a review.

The pressure was perhaps telling on Australia captain Aaron Finch, who tore into Labuschagne for turning down a single from the non-striker's end following a brilliant piece of fielding from David Miller.

There was more great work from Miller at short extra cover to remove Finch on 22 as the fielder got his fingers underneath a low chance to give Daryn Dupavillon a maiden ODI wicket.

D’Arcy Short (36) put on 81 alongside Labuschagne before becoming Smuts' first victim and Mitchell Marsh (32) was sent back thanks to more brilliance from Miller, who dived to stop Labuschagne's drive and whipped an underarm throw to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock for a simple run out.

Alex Carey was bowled by Smuts in the same over without scoring but Labuschagne went on to make an emotional century in front of around 50 watching family members.

In reply, South Africa lost both openers to Josh Hazlewood but the lack of Starc, who has returned home to watch wife Alyssa Healy in the Women's T20 World Cup final, and Cummins allowed Smuts and Verreynne to put on 96 for the third wicket.

Both men picked out fielders from mistimed slogs, but Warner was then unable to hang on to a loose shot from Klaasen, who reached his 50 when shelled at mid-on.

Klaasen sealed the victory by going four-four-six off Marsh, taking his tally for the series to 242 runs.

Mitchell Starc has been cleared to miss Australia's final ODI against South Africa to return home and watch his wife Alyssa Healy play in the Women's T20 World Cup final.

Paceman Starc was given the green light to fly back to his homeland to support Healy at the MCG on Sunday when Australia face India.

Australia have lost the series against the Proteas with one match to spare and they will have to do without left-arm quick Starc when they go in search of a consolation win in Potchefstroom on Saturday.

Justin Langer, the Australia head coach, said: "It's a once-in-a-lifetime chance for Mitch to watch Alyssa in a home World Cup final and so we were happy to allow him to return home to support his wife and be part of a fantastic occasion,

"It is something we have been talking about for a while, given Mitch has had a considerable workload in all three formats this summer. 

"His heading home a couple of days ahead of the rest of the squad means he will have a chance to refresh ahead of our home and away ODIs and Twenty20 internationals against New Zealand that will wrap up our season.

"We have plenty of fast bowling options with us here in South Africa with Josh Hazlewood, Jhye Richardson and Kane Richardson all sitting out our previous match in Bloemfontein, and Mitch's absence will offer one of them an opportunity to impress in Saturday's match."

Australia will defend their Women's T20 World Cup title in the final against India after defeating South Africa in a rain-affected match at the SCG.

The hosts and reigning champions posted 134-5 in a match at first delayed and then truncated by rain, with the earlier semi-final between England and India having been a washout.

While Australia were able to bat their full allocation, their opponents were limited to 13 overs and required 98 runs.

However, they were only able to reach 92-5 as Australia won by five runs, with maiden finalists India up next in Melbourne on Sunday.

Captain Meg Lanning led by example with an unbeaten 49, while disciplined bowling from Megan Schutt (2-17 off three overs) helped to limit a South Africa side for whom Laura Wolvaardt top-scored on 41.

Janneman Malan hit his maiden international hundred as South Africa moved into an unassailable 2-0 lead in the one-day series against Australia with a six-wicket win at the Mangaung Oval.

Opener Malan had endured an ODI debut to forget in the previous match, dismissed lbw for a first-ball duck by Mitchell Starc, but made amends on Wednesday, finishing up unbeaten on 129.

JJ Smuts and Heinrich Klaasen – who made a century last time out – made useful contributions as the Proteas impressively overhauled Australia's total of 271 all out despite losing Quinton de Kock to the third ball of their reply.

The South Africa skipper was once again cleaned up by Starc, who had also bowled the left-hander twice during the recent Twenty20 series between the teams.

However, Smuts helped put on 91 for the second wicket - making 41 from 64 deliveries - and while Kyle Verreynne fell cheaply, Klaasen followed up his knock of 123 not out on Saturday with a valuable 51.

Adam Zampa (2-48) dismissed Klaasen to give Australia hope, yet David Miller (37 not out from 29 balls) shared in an unbroken stand of 90 to steer the hosts to their target with nine balls to spare.

Malan hit seven fours and four sixes in an outstanding 139-ball knock that overshadowed the achievements of team-mate Lungi Ngidi, who had claimed 6-58 earlier in the day.

The paceman became the fastest South African to 50 ODI wickets on his way to career-best figures in the format, David Warner the first of his victims after smashing 35 during an opening stand of 50 with Aaron Finch.

Ngidi also struck twice in successive balls during the 13th over, removing Steve Smith (13) and Marnus Labuschagne, the latter cutting his first delivery to Malan at point.

Captain Finch and D'Arcy Short both made 69 - the latter posting his maiden ODI half-century - while Mitchell Marsh (36) carried his team to a promising position heading into the closing stages.

Yet from 238-5 with six overs to go, Australia lost their way. Ngidi returned to get rid of Ashton Agar, Alex Carey and Pat Cummins, while Anrich Nortje trapped Starc lbw off the last ball of the innings.

The tourists will hope to avoid a 3-0 series loss when they round out their limited-overs tour with the third and final one-dayer, which takes place on Saturday in Potchefstroom.

South Africa batsman Temba Bavuma will miss the remainder of the ODI series against Australia due to a hamstring injury.

Bavuma played in a 74-run win over Australia in Paarl on Saturday after missing the T20 series due to a hamstring strain sustained while fielding against England.

Cricket South Africa revealed ahead of the second ODI in Bloemfontein that the 29-year-old will play no further part as the Proteas eye a series win over Aaron Finch's side.

Rassie van der Dussen was drafted in as cover, but JJ Smuts took Bavuma's place in the side at Mangaung Oval on Wednesday.

Bavuma is due to fly out to India on Sunday for a three-match ODI series.

 

The line-up for the semi-finals of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup has been confirmed after a gripping group stage came to an end.

India, Group A toppers, will face England before Australia take on South Africa, the Group B toppers, in semi-finals starting at 3 pm and 7 pm respectively on Thursday at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The line-up was confirmed when both the Proteas and West Indies were awarded a point after no play was possible due to rain in the group stage’s final game at Sydney Showground.

India were the only team to emerge from the groups with a perfect record and their clash with England is a re-run of the 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup final at Lord’s and the 2018 Women's T20 World Cup semi-final in Antigua, both of which were won by Heather Knight’s side.

 
 Hosts Australia, having booked their place in the knockout stages with victory over New Zealand on Monday, and placed second in Group A, face 2014 semi-finalists South Africa.

The winners will go into the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 final, to be played on 8 March, International Women’s Day, at the MCG.

Australia have won the tournament four times and England won the inaugural edition back in 2009.

Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry all return to New Zealand's one-day squad for the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy series against Australia.

The fast-bowling trio missed the ODI games against India on home soil through injury, though Boult did feature in the two Tests that followed against the same opponents after recovering from a broken hand.

As well as Boult, Ferguson suffered a calf strain while Henry broke his thumb as the Black Caps were blighted by absences during a 3-0 Test series defeat in Australia.

However, they are all available for the upcoming three one-dayers against their trans-Tasman rivals. The first two fixtures take place in Sydney on March 13 and 15, with the finale in Hobart five days later.

Seamers Hamish Bennett and Kyle Jamieson are also in a 15-man squad, along with spinners Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi.

"Playing Australia in Australia is one of the great challenges in world cricket and you know you will be severely tested in all aspects of the game," said Black Caps coach Gary Stead.

"Our one-day unit is a pretty settled one with plenty of experience and I think that showed in the recent series against India.

"It’s great to welcome back the class of Trent, Matt and Lockie who spearheaded our run to the Cricket World Cup final last year.

"Kyle's made every post a winner since his international debut this season and he’ll be a handy asset to have in Australia."

 

New Zealand ODI squad: Kane Williamson (captain), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor

South Africa claimed victory in the first ODI with Australia after producing a disciplined bowling display to back up Heinrich Klaasen's eye-catching century at Boland Park on Saturday.

In the first meeting of a three-match series, it was the Proteas who impressed to triumph by 74 runs, Klaasen's unbeaten 123 proving key, while Lungi Ngidi (3-30) was clinical with the ball.

The victory came despite a sluggish start from the hosts, who were reduced to 48-3, with newcomer Janneman Malan among the victims as he was out for a golden duck.

But another debutant shone far more brightly, Kyle Verreynne's handy contribution of 48 – along with David Miller's 64 and Klaasen's heroics – helping South Africa to 291-7.

Even in the absence of influential paceman Kagiso Rabada, out with a groin strain suffered in the T20 series, the home side applied pressure with the ball to limit Australia's response and seal victory in the 46th over.

Malan fell first ball to Mitchell Starc, given out lbw on review, and captain Quinton de Kock was out tamely for 15 when he nicked one into the gloves of Alex Carey off Josh Hazlewood.

Temba Bavuma dragged on from Pat Cummins to leave South Africa in real trouble before Verreynne and Klaasen's 78-run stand stirred a revival.

Klaasen, who racked up a maiden international hundred, combined just as effectively with Miller after Verreynne was caught at square leg by Marsh, the newly minted partnership adding a decisive 149 runs.

With a sizeable target to chase, the tourists struggled to get going, although Steve Smith's 76 did raise hopes of making it a competitive contest after openers David Warner (25) and Aaron Finch (10) had been dismissed by Ngidi.

When Smith was trapped lbw by Anrich Nortje in the 35th over, Australia were running out of overs and wickets, requiring 118 runs from 96 balls.

Carey's five from 16 deliveries was decidedly unhelpful, but he was not the only one to come up short on a day when Australia simply failed to fire, finishing 217 all out.

Kagiso Rabada will miss not only South Africa's one-dayers against Australia on home soil but also the upcoming tour to India due to a groin strain.

Paceman Rabada suffered the injury during the Twenty20 series with Australia, which concluded on Wednesday at Newlands in Cape Town, and underwent an MRI scan to assess the extent of the problem.

The 24-year-old will be sidelined for a month, according to a statement released by Cricket South Africa (CSA) on the eve of the first ODI in Paarl.

After hosting Australia, the Proteas travel to India for three 50-over fixtures, starting in Dharamsala on March 12.

"The significant injury means that he will take approximately four weeks to heal, which effectively rules him out of both the Australia and India ODI series," said Dr Shuaib Manjra, CSA's chief medical officer.

"The CSA medical staff will ensure his effective and expeditious recovery."

Rabada was rested for the limited-overs games against England earlier this year but returned to face Australia, picking up two wickets in his three appearances as the tourists won the T20 series by a 2-1 scoreline.

Australia clinched the Twenty20 series against South Africa in emphatic fashion at Newlands on Wednesday, thrashing the home side by 97 runs in the winner-takes-all showdown.

In a lopsided encounter remarkably similar to the first of the three games between the teams, the tourists posted a challenging total before skittling their opponents.

Opening duo David Warner and Aaron Finch both made half-centuries as they powered Australia to 193-5 after being put into bat.

The Proteas – who managed just 89 when chasing 197 last Friday – lost captain Quinton de Kock early and never threatened in a reply that lasted just 15.3 overs.

Mitchell Starc claimed the key early breakthrough, bowling left-hander De Kock with the fourth ball of the innings, and also removed Faf du Plessis cheaply during the powerplay. The paceman finished with figures of 3-23, wrapping up the win by trapping Kagiso Rabada in front.

Ashton Agar also claimed three wickets, with the spinner coming close to recording a second hat-trick in the series after seeing off Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi with successive deliveries in the 15th over.

Tabraiz Shamsi survived to deny Agar another treble but South Africa did not last too much longer, bowled out for 96 – the lowest total posted in a T20I at the Cape Town venue.

They appeared set to be chasing well in excess of 200 when Warner (57) and Finch (55) were in full flow, the pair putting on 120 in 11.3 overs.

Australia rather lost their way after the well-set pair departed in quick succession, yet Steve Smith – who surprisingly came in down at number five in the order – benefited from a repreive when bowled by a Rabada no ball to make an unbeaten 30 in a hurry.

Starc's double strike had South Africa teetering and while Rassie van der Dussen (24) and Heinrich Klaasen (22) tried to repair the damage, the slow-bowling combination of Agar (3-16) and Adam Zampa (2-10) turned the screw. Fittingly, the impressive Starc landed the knockout blow.

The two teams now turn their focus to 50-over cricket with a three-match ODI series rounding out Australia's trip. The first match takes place in Paarl on Saturday.

Former captain Faf du Plessis will be rested again by South Africa for the upcoming ODI series against Australia, Cricket South Africa (CSA) confirmed on Wednesday.

Du Plessis has stepped down as Proteas skipper across all three formats in recent weeks, with Quinton de Kock taking charge.

Although the 35-year-old is playing against Australia in the ongoing Twenty20 international series, he missed the clashes with England in the same format earlier in February.

And Du Plessis will be absent again when South Africa return to 50-over action on Saturday.

"With a busy year and a half in mind, the selectors have opted to give further rest to Faf du Plessis and other senior players, such as Rassie van der Dussen and Dwaine Pretorius, while giving themselves an opportunity to see what some of the country's up and coming talents have to offer," CSA posted on its Twitter page as the squad was announced.

Keshav Maharaj is granted a recall, having last played limited-overs cricket for the Proteas in August 2018.

The 30-year-old left-arm spinner has been a Test regular in recent years but is yet to play T20s for South Africa and has featured in just four ODIs.

Meanwhile, Lutho Sipamla, who debuted against England at the start of the month, and Janneman Malan, with two T20 caps, are among the younger players included, along with Kyle Verreynne.

Verreynne, 22, is yet to feature for his country at senior level.


South Africa ODI squad in full: Quinton de Kock, Temba Bavuma, David Miller, Kagiso Rabada, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lungi Ngidi, Beuran Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Janneman Malan, Jon-Jon Smuts, Anrich Nortje, Lutho Sipamla, Keshav Maharaj, Kyle Verreynne.

Jhye Richardson has been named in Australia's squad for the three-game ODI showdown against South Africa, though he will sit out the series with New Zealand.

Richardson returned to the international mix for three Twenty20s in South Africa, where the third and final game will be played on Wednesday, though the paceman has been overlooked for the first two clashes.

However, Richardson could feature in the 50-over format following his selection in Australia's ODI team to face the Proteas, starting in Paarl on Saturday.

Richardson, 23, will remain in South Africa after Australia announced their 14-man squad for a three-game series against trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand from March 13-20.

"It has been a pretty tough road to get back, a few ups and downs, a few plateaus here and there. Just being here around everyone and this setup again is fantastic. Everyone is in a great frame of mind and extremely positive," said Richardson, who suffered a shoulder injury prior to last year's Cricket World Cup.

"I am absolutely ready to go. I feel I am bowling as well as I have for a long time. Hopefully there's an opportunity."

National selector Trevor Hohns added: "Jhye is performing exceptionally well, as we saw throughout the Big Bash. He has slotted back into the T20 squad in South Africa and is pushing for a place in that side.

"We are very fortunate to have such a deep pool of fast bowlers. Jhye has earned his place after the hard work he has done to get back into his best form after serious injury.

"Keeping him in South Africa with the one-day squad gives us another exceptional fast bowler who is ready to go."

Australia will face New Zealand in back-to-back ODIs at the SCG in Sydney on March 13 and 15 before hosting the Black Caps in Hobart on March 20.

Australia ODI squad to face New Zealand: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Kane Richardson, D'Arcy Short, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

Australia let a promising position slip as South Africa levelled the Twenty20 series with a 12-run win in Port Elizabeth.

The tourists crushed the Proteas by 107 runs in the opening game of their limited-overs tour on Friday, bowling their opponents out for just 89.

They appeared set to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series after restricting South Africa to 158-4 despite Quinton de Kock's 70.

However, they slumped from 98-1 midway through the 13th over to finish on 146-6, well shy of a target perceived to be below par at the halfway stage of the contest.

Steve Smith stole the show in South Africa's powerplay, despite the hosts powering to 59-0 thanks mainly to the efforts of skipper De Kock.

Smith produced an incredible piece of fielding in the sixth over, catching a shot over the deep midwicket boundary from De Kock and throwing it back across the rope before he hit the ground to prevent what looked a certain six.

De Kock struck five fours and four sixes but was eventually caught at long off as Australia fought back, Rassie van der Dussen's 26-ball 37 the other primary contribution as the Proteas' early impetus petered out.

David Warner (67 not out) and Australia captain Aaron Finch put on 48 for the first wicket in 4.4 overs before the impressive Lungi Ngidi (3-41) struck.

Warner and Smith appeared in cruise control, yet both could be considered guilty of not scoring quickly enough and the latter went for 29 off 26 balls when Faf du Plessis raced in from the boundary to claim an excellent catch.

Alex Carey fell to Ngidi for 14 as South Africa's death bowling came to the fore.

Ngidi claimed his third when Du Plessis produced more brilliance in the field, parrying a high shot down the ground to David Miller to remove Mitchell Marsh, though Australia still needed just 20 off the final two overs with six wickets in hand.

Yet Kagiso Rabada drew a leading edge from Matthew Wade at the start of the 19th, during which Warner spent just one delivery on strike. 

Australia required 17 off the final six balls but could manage only four, Anrich Nortje bowling Ashton Agar as South Africa completed a fine comeback to ensure the third and final match on Wednesday will be a decider.

Ashton Agar called his hat-trick against South Africa "a highlight of my cricketing life" as his heroics gave the tourists a flying start to their Twenty20 international series.

At the Wanderers in Johannesburg, left-arm spinner Agar was the unlikely chief destroyer as he finished with figures of 5-24 in a 107-run victory.

Australia made 196-6 before bowling out South Africa for a meagre 89 in the first of three matches between the teams in the shortest format.

Agar reduced South Africa from 44-4 to 44-7, and incredibly he almost took a second hat-trick later in the innings, only narrowly missing out on bowling last man Tabraiz Shamsi after taking wickets at the end of the 12th and start of the 14th over.

"It was really exciting, obviously a highlight of my cricketing life," Agar said at the post-match presentation, where he was named man of the match.

"But my job's made a lot easier when I've got Mitch Starc, Patty Cummins, Richo [Kane Richardson] and Zamps [Adam Zampa] doing the job before me."

Agar revealed he was not at his best before the match began, but thrashing 20 not out from nine balls at the end of Australia's innings must have set him right.

"It's funny, I was actually feeling horrible leading into the game," Agar said.

The man from Melbourne found it difficult to explain why the day proved such a personal success.

Trying to pin it down, he said: "I don't know... that self-belief at the top of the mark, to just let it all out and give it your best go.

"Obviously when the wicket turns a bit, you get a bit of assistance, your job gets a bit easier and you get on a roll and keep going."

Agar saluted captain Aaron Finch for the brilliant slip catch that clinched the hat-trick, removing Dale Steyn after the spinner earlier prised out Faf du Plessis and Andile Phehlukwayo to tease the big chance.

Finch appeared more thrilled than Agar as he charged off in celebration.

"Unbelievable catch, I think he really enjoyed it as well," Agar said. "He was halfway off the ground when I looked over.

"But great catch, great team performance, good game."

Australia spinner Ashton Agar grabbed a hat-trick as he stole the show in a thumping 107-run Twenty20 win over South Africa at the Wanderers.

Two years on from the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town, which saw both Steve Smith and David Warner banned from the game, much of the pre-match focus was on the Australia star batsmen.

The duo were returning to action in South Africa for the first time since playing a part in that plot and experienced distinctly mixed fortunes with the bat, before Agar rose to the occasion.

The 26-year-old Agar reduced South Africa from an already unsteady 44-4 to 44-7 in their response to Australia's 196-6, removing Faf du Plessis, Andile Phehlukwayo and Dale Steyn, and there was no way back from there.

He remarkably later went close to a second hat-trick, finishing with career-best T20 international figures of 5-24 as South Africa were bowled out for 89.

South Africa put Australia in after winning the toss in the first game of a three-match series. Captain Aaron Finch made 42 and former skipper Smith top-scored with 45 as four other batsmen made at least 18 runs each.

Matthew Wade (18), Mitchell Marsh (19), Alex Carey (27) and Agar (20 not out) kept the scoreboard ticking over at a rapid rate, with Lungi Ndidi (37-1) and Kagiso Rabada (45-0) taking a carting.

Warner went to the second ball of the innings though, Steyn having the left-hander caught at long leg off at top edge.

Like Australia, South Africa lost an opener in the first over as Mitchell Starc bowled Quinton de Kock with a delicious delivery. But unlike Australia, South Africa did not find the rest of their batting order quite so dependable.

Du Plessis showed a modicum of resistance as chaos ensued around him, but his own dismissal was the beginning of the end for the Proteas - and the start of something special for Agar.

A mistimed shot against the left-arm slow bowler found the safe hands of Kane Richardson, before Agar secured an lbw verdict to remove Phehlukwayo.

Steyn took a lusty swipe at the hat-trick ball but only managed to find an edge and Finch took a fine slip catch, the ball hurtling his way.

Agar later bowled 33-year-old South Africa debutant Pite van Biljon at the end of the 12th over and had Ngidi caught at long-on from the first ball of the 14th, meaning that outrageously he was on the brink of a second hat-trick in the innings.

He was a whisker away from bowling Tabraiz Shamsi, but the batsman survived. Adam Zampa had the final say, bowling Rabada, but it was resoundingly Agar's day.

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