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Hussey sees Australia home

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Pat Cummins & Mike Hussey

Pat Cummins and Mike Hussey ease Australia's occasional nerves by sealing victory in Durban. They chased down 223 with 15 balls to spare

Mike Hussey kept his cool to steer Australia to a three-wicket win over South Africa in Durban - and a 2-1 series victory.

Half-centuries from captain Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis helped the Proteas post 222 for six, which always looked slightly below par on a pacy, true surface.

So it proved, despite some nervy moments for Australia, as Shane Watson, with 49 at the top of the order, provided the early impetus and Hussey completed the job with a well-judged unbeaten 45.

Shaun Marsh made 30 before Hussey, in partnership with Pat Cummins, saw Australia home with 15 balls to spare.

When Amla took four fours in five balls off Cummins’ first over, it appeared South Africa were set for an imposing total, but the run-rate had dipped below five by the end of the opening 10-over powerplay.

The pressure exerted by Australia's discipline seemingly got to Graeme Smith, who, having contributed just 19 to an opening stand of 58, swept Xavier Doherty’s second ball to deep square-leg, where Hussey took a fine catch running in.

Amla, attempting to pinch a single to short fine-leg, was beaten by Cummins’ throw and run out for 52, and Kallis perished for 54 when he located Marsh on the square-leg boundary, again off Doherty.

Francois Du Plessis struggled for fluency before, comprehensively beaten by a Cummins slower ball, he was taken by Doherty in a similar position, and JP Duminy, whose 35 spanned 58 balls and contained a solitary four, finally swung Mitchell Johnson to deep midwicket.

Mark Boucher holed out at long-off to give Johnson figures of 2-37 - Doherty finished with 2-33 from nine overs - and South Africa’s travails were summed up by the fact they found the boundary only twice in the last 10 overs.

David Warner fell cheaply in Australia’s reply when, in attempting to withdraw his bat, he edged Morne Morkel behind.

Watson dominated the scoring before playing on to Kallis within sight of a half-century, and when Ricky Ponting offered a comfortable return catch to Johan Botha in the next over Australia were wobbling on 82 for three.

Michael Clarke and Marsh restored order by putting on 48 for the fourth wicket until both were bowled by Duminy, and Brad Haddin’s near run-a-ball 23 took them closer.

All the while, Hussey rotated the strike superbly - he did not manage a boundary until the 56th delivery he faced - although he ended the match and the series in emphatic fashion by heaving Morkel over midwicket for six.