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Aussies feel pressure release with ODI win over South Africa

Australian paceman Josh Hazlewood knows one win doesn’t make a summer.

But he says Australian players felt some pressure release with Friday night’s seven-run one-day win against South Africa.

Hazlewood believes the Australians should now be more relaxed entering Sunday’s series decider in Hobart after ending their seven-game losing steak.

“It will probably relax the guys a little bit, if anything,” Hazlewood told reporters in Adelaide on Saturday.

“We know one win doesn’t make a summer, though.

“It’s a good step moving forward to get one on the board. It makes tomorrow pretty important game for us to try and win the series.”

Austraia’s triumph came amid off-field upheaval at Cricket Australia, with allrounder Marcus Stoinis telling of the “drain” on players.

But Hazlewood said the boardroom ructions weren’t playing on his mind.

“I have been fine. We’re obviously aware of it but I don’t think it’s a distraction my any means,” he said.

Josh Hazlewood and Australia produced a stirring comeback.Josh Hazlewood and Australia produced a stirring comeback.
Camera IconJosh Hazlewood and Australia produced a stirring comeback.Picture: Getty Images

Australia defended 231 against the Proteas in Adelaide, watched by just 17,680 spectators.

“Whenever we play one-day cricket before Test cricket in the summer, the crowds don’t tend to come as much as they do in January and February when we’re playing one-dayers,” Hazlewood said.

“Maybe everyone is holding out for the Test match.”

Stoinis took three wickets and Hazlewood and Pat Cummins producing telling spells to square the best-of-three series.

“I think the quicks were outstanding,” Hazlewood said.

“Up front we were really good and took those early wickets and put some pressure back on South Africa, as you need to do because it was a small target.

“We closed it out pretty well. It’s a little bit of relief, I guess.

“But we have been doing the right things at training and are really focused on the process and put results a little bit out of our mind.”

But Australia’s bowlers are looking to the batsmen to improve in Hobart after failing to bat their allotted overs for the seventh time in eight games.

Alex Carey, Chris Lynn and captain Aaron Finch were dismissed in the 40s in Adelaide, stalling any genuine momentum with the bat.

“That is a goal of a batters, to have a couple of established guys there at the end,” Hazlewood said.

“To have our top six or seven face 50 overs, when you can do that, you can really put the opposition under the pump.”

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