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Amla Lifts South Africa to Sweep of No. 1 Spots; Australia Wins

Aug. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Hashim Amla hit 150 as South Africa beat England by 80 runs to take a 1-0 lead in their one-day cricket series and move atop the world rankings. Australia defeated Pakistan by four wickets in their opening match.

Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell and Robin Peterson took two wickets each in Southampton, England, last night as the home team was bowled out for 207 chasing South Africa’s 287-5.

Amla, who became the first South African to score a triple century during the Test series between the teams, struck his career best one-day score off 124 balls, only losing his wicket in the last over. Opener Graeme Smith hit 52.

“Things are falling into place but an element of fortune has to go your way as well and I just try to stick to the basics,” man of the match Amla said at the presentation ceremony. “I’m enjoying the game and the team results have been fantastic and that takes precedence.”

South Africa rises above England atop the International Cricket Council’s one-day rankings with the victory, becoming the first team to hold the No. 1 spot in all three formats of the game at the same time.

England drops to third in the one-day rankings behind South Africa and India. South Africa won the Test series against England 2-0 on Aug. 20 to replace it as No. 1 in the elite five-day format. It also leads in the 20-over game.

England lost opening batsman Alastair Cook in the second ball of its innings last night when he was bowled out by Lonwabo Tsotsobe. Later, Parnell had Bresnan and Graeme Swann caught behind in the space of three balls.

Ian Bell and Samit Patel top scored with 45 each before England was all out in the 41st of 50 overs. The opener of the best-of-five series five days ago was abandoned because of rain. Game three is scheduled in two days at the Oval in London.

Clarke Top Scores

Australia, ranked No. 4 in the 50-over format, secured its victory against Pakistan with 10 balls remaining at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the United Arab Emirates.

Captain Michael Clarke top scored with 66 and George Bailey hit an unbeaten 57 as Australia recovered from 87-4 after 25 of 50 overs chasing 199 to win. Fast bowler Mitchell Starc took 5-42 to help dismiss Pakistan for 198.

The second of three matches is scheduled in two days in Abu Dhabi before the Sept. 3 series finale in Sharjah. The teams then travel to Dubai for a best-of-three Twenty20 contest.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Duff in Madrid at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at

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