Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis has helped engineer a seven-run win against South Africa to snap a one day cricket losing streak.
The South Africans, chasing 232 at Adelaide Oval, made 9-224 as Australia set up a series-deciding game three in Hobart on Sunday.
Stoinis took 3-35 and quicks Josh Hazlewood (2-42) and Pat Cummins (1-27) stifled the South Africans.
“All the guys that are in that team fight so hard,” Stoinis said.
But Australia’s batting woes remain — the hosts were all out for 231 in 48.3 overs the seventh time in their past eight ODIs they couldn’t bat their allotted overs.
Alex Carey top-scored on his home deck with 47 from 72 balls, while Chris Lynn made 44 from 44 and captain Aaron Finch 41 from 63 deliveries.
The returning Shaun Marsh (22 from 26 balls) also looked in good touch but no batsmen converted stylish starts into a scores of substance.
The hard-hitting Lynn threatened, launching at Kagiso Rabada and cracking 18 runs — a six and three fours — from consecutive deliveries.
Next ball, attempting to hook a searing bouncer, Lynn edged behind and momentum stalled.
Proteas paceman Rabada picked up 4-54, Dwaine Pretorius took 3-32 and Dale Steyn bowled superbly for his 2-31 from 10 overs.
Australia’s skipper Finch and Marsh put on a bright 44-run partnership but it was the innings-high as Travis Head (8), Glenn Maxwell (15) and Stoinis (2) fell cheap.
But Stoinis, before a crowd of 17,680 spectators, made amends with frequent strikes with the ball for his second-best ODI figures.
The South Africans slipped to 4-68 inside 15 overs before David Miller (51 from 71 balls) and captain Faf du Plessis rallied.
They put the chase on pace with a game-high 74 run partnership before du Plessis (47 from 65 balls) inexplicably chopped on to his stumps from Cummins’ bowling.
The skipper’s departure started a slide of 5-60 as Australia ended a seven-game ODI losing stretch.
Stoinis, Hazlewood and Cummins pressed as the visitors lost 3-13, leaving 30 runs to get from the last three overs.
Spearhead Mitchell Starc (2-51) then delivered a vital wicket-maiden to help close out the victory.