| South Africa celebrate their win over Australia in Johannesburg on Sunday. (AFP)
Johannesburg: South Africa hit a world record 438 for nine in the highest-scoring one-day International in history to beat Australia by one wicket and win the series 3-2 on Sunday.
In the most extraordinary one-dayer ever, the home side’s victory was achieved with one ball to spare and sparked wild celebrations on and off the Wanderers pitch.
Before Sunday, no side had scored more than 400 in an ODI, and South Africa’s total topped Australia’s record 434 for four earlier in the day.
Australian captain Ricky Ponting (164) and South African Herschelle Gibbs (175) scored over 150 in the fifth one-dayer and a total of 872 runs were scored. The previous record was 693 when India beat Pakistan by five runs in Karachi in March 2004.
The previous innings record was the 398 for five Sri Lanka scored against Kenya in Kandy in 1995-96.
After winning the toss and choosing to bat, Ponting reached his century off 73 balls. In all he faced 105 deliveries, hitting 13 fours and nine sixes.
Gibbs then kept the home side up with the required scoring rate by blazing 175, including seven sixes, off 111 balls. Captain Graeme Smith also scored 90, putting on 187 for the second wicket with Gibbs.
Ponting is the first Australian to reach 9,000 runs in ODIs and his innings was the third highest by an Australian.
The two batsmen were jointly awarded Man of the Match but Ponting declined it, saying Gibbs deserved the honour alone.
Earlier, Adam Gilchrist and Simon Katich launched Australia’s innings with an aggressive stand of 97, which ended in the 16th over when Gilchrist was dismissed by seamer Roger Telemachus.
Katich and Ponting piled on 119 runs for the second wicket until Katich cut a delivery from Makhaya Ntini and was caught by Telemachus at third man for 79.
Ponting and Michael Hussey shared 158 for the third wicket before Hussey, who scored 81, tried to heave a ball from Hall over long-on and was caught by Ntini.
Ponting was dismissed in the 48th over when his lofted drive to a ball from Jacques Kallis was caught by Boeta Dippenaar.
Graeme Smith and Gibbs kept the home side on course with a lusty second-wicket stand of 187 off 128 balls, South Africa’s highest partnership for any wicket against Australia.
Australia surged back by dismissing Van der Wath, Telemachus and Hall in the space of 18 deliveries to reduce South Africa to 433 for nine with three balls left in the match. No. 11 Ntini nudged Lee to backward point for a single, and Boucher, who ended on 50 not out, slammed the next ball through long-on for four to win the match.
Australian Mick Lewis’s return of nought for 113 was the most expensive analysis in 50-over ODIs.