Melbounre: Steve Smith's second one-day international century has steered Australia to a remarkable victory in the fourth Carlton Mid ODI against South Africa at the MCG on Friday.
Smith hit a career-best ODI total of 104 from 112 deliveries as the Australians passed South Africa's 267-8 with six balls to spare at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The Australians were in deep trouble after the top-order collapsed to 98-5 in the 25th over when Smith and Matthew Wade turned things around.
The pair added 121 runs for the sixth wicket before Wade departed for 52 in the 45th over with the match still in the balance.
But all-rounder James Faulkner, who finished unbeaten on 34 off just 19 balls, shared a 48-run stand with Smith to tie the scores.
Smith then had the chance to hit the winning run but was bowled by spinner Robin Peterson, trying to smash the ball out of the ground, leaving Pat Cummins to seal the victory off the next ball.
AB De Villiers earlier fell just short of a deserved hundred after a masterful batting display for the Proteas.
De Villiers finished with 91 off just 88 deliveries and David Miller hit a quick-fire 45 while six other South Africans made double figures.
Cummins and Faulkner bagged two wickets each for the Australians, who wrapped up the series with a one match to go despite the absence of injured captain Michael Clarke and strike bowler Mitchell Johnson.
De Villiers was the backbone of the South African innings, striking six boundaries and rarely looking troubled against the Australian attack.
The visitors were looking set for a total in excess of 300 after reaching 230-4 in the 42nd over when De Villiers lost his wicket, holing out to Smith at deep midwicket after being deceived by a slower ball from Cummins.
The Australians succeeded in stemming the South African onslaught in the final few overs. Peterson hit the only six of the innings, when he slogged a ball from Faulker back over the bowler's head.
But the Australian got his revenge next ball with a slower delivery that crashed into Peterson's stumps.
Earlier, South Africa have won the toss and have opted to bat.
four changes in their playing eleven in each team; for Australia -- Maxwell, Coulter-Nile, Faulkner and Cummins come in place of Marsh, Richardson, Doherty and Hazlewood, while for South Africa -- McLaren, Peterson, Parnell and Abbott replace Rossouw, Philander, Morkel and Tahir.
Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch, Shane Watson, Steven Smith, George Bailey (Capt.), Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade (wk), James Faulkner, Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Mitchell Starc
South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wk), Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers (Capt.), David Miller, Farhaan Behardien, Ryan McLaren, Robin Peterson, Wayne Parnell, Dale Steyn, Kyle Abbott
South Africa - 267/8 (de Villiers 91, Miller 45)
Australia - 268/7 (Smith 104, Wade 52, )
Result - Australia won by 3 wickets
MOM - Steven Smith (Australia)