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Dale Steyn and Faf du Plessis dismantle Australia in Harare final

Dale Steyn and Faf du Plessis produced star turns as South Africa coasted to a six-wicket win over Australia in the tri-series final.

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Steyn claimed the early wicket of Phil Hughes to check Australia's confident start and, after spinners Aaron Phangiso (0-36) and Imran Tahir (1-40) stifled the rate in the post-powerplay overs, South Africa's talisman returned with a devastating spell of high-class reverse swing bowling.

Half-centurion Aaron Finch was bowled and fellow dangerman Glenn Maxwell fell lbw first ball. Brad Haddin departed in similar fashion as man-of-the-match Steyn completed figures of 4-34.

Australia's eventual total of 217-9 might have been far shabbier but for a 71-run stand for the ninth wicket between James Faulkner and Mitchell Starc, who hit 39 and 29 not out respectively.

South Africa lost Quinton de Kock early in their chase but, on the back of three centuries in his past four one-day internationals, Du Plessis produced a superbly paced knock of 96 - ended when Faulkner caught him at midwicket off Mitchell Johnson with the scores level.

AB de Villiers clouted the next ball to the cover fence to finish on 57 not out, with 55 balls left unused.

Finch and Hughes began authoritatively having been asked to face first, with the latter punishing Morne Morkel for dropping short before drilling Steyn to De Villiers at short cover on 15.

Left-armer Wayne Parnell served up an erratic opening over costing nine but he removed Steve Smith (10) in his next set of six, David Miller gratefully pouching a top-edged pull.

A trial by spin then ensued and Tahir's googly ended a frustrating 28-ball stay for George Bailey as the Australia skipper chopped on.

Finch (54) reined in his attacking instincts to bring up a third half-century of the tournament but Steyn ripped one through the gate to account for the opener before pinning Maxwell on the back foot.

The in-form Mitchell Marsh represented Australia's best hope of recovering, with a towering six off Tahir among his 27, but he played on to Parnell and Haddin failed to make the most of being dropped by Phangiso when Steyn bowled him for six.

The same fielder made no mistake in catching Johnson on the rope off Morkel to leave Australia 144-8 but Faulkner and Starc played intelligently, stopping the slide before smashing 50 from the last five overs.

De Kock had seven to his name when a leading edge off Maxwell"s off-spin looped to Bailey at cover, but that was to be the sum of Australia's early endeavours.

Man-of-the-series Du Plessis, who had never reached three figures in ODIs until his recent purple patch, played in a beautifully unflustered manner- hitting eight fours and a six - that meant victory was rarely in doubt.

Hashim Amla (51) appeared set to do most of the work alongside Du Plessis but uncharacteristically slapped a Smith long-hop straight to Bailey.

Parnell earned a surprise promotion to number four - the reasons for which were no clearer by the time he was trapped on the crease and bowled by Faulkner, ending a stilted innings of six off 24 balls.

By contrast, De Villiers was instantly in full flow and a joy to behold, thumping six fours and two sixes in a brilliant 41-ball knock.

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