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Australia beat SA by 73 runs to lead series

The hosts put South Africa’s bowlers to the sword after they posted 329/5 in their allotted 50 overs.

The Australian team celebrate their victory against South Africa on 19 November 2014. Picture: Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - Australia beat South Africa by 73 runs in Canberra to take a 2-1 lead in the five match One Day International (ODI) series in Canberra on Wednesday.

After winning the toss and electing to bat first, the hosts put South Africa's bowlers to the sword after they posted 329/5 in their allotted 50 overs.

Aaron Finch top-scored with 109 while Steve Smith finished on 73 not out.

In reply, Hashim Amla struck 102, AB de Villiers 52 from 34 balls and Quinton de Kock 47, as the Proteas were eventually restricted to 256/9. Spinner Imran Tahir was unable to bat due to injury.

The next game is in Melbourne on Friday with the series concluding in Sydney on Sunday.