Sunday, 23 November 2014, 04:00pm
Faulkner the hero for Australia
South Africa's total of 280 for six was built around a three-figure second-wicket stand between Quinton de Kock (107) and Rilee Rossouw (51) and some late blows from Farhaan Barhardien (63).
But Australia's second-wicket pair, Aaron Finch and Shane Watson, also put on 100 and when Steve Smith added 67 the chase seemed well in hand - but a collapse left Faulkner to finish the job in the final over.
De Kock and Hashim Amla put on 54 before the latter was caught behind off Glenn Maxwell.
De Kock reached his half-century the over before as he and Rossouw built a strong partnership which passed fifty in the 22nd over.
Rossouw successfully reviewed after being given out caught behind off Smith and capitalised by bringing up his first ODI half-century, from 69 balls with five fours, but added only one more before miscuing Pat Cummins to mid-on.
A 10-minute rain stoppage followed and from the first ball back, Faf du Plessis became the second wicket to fall in Cummins' over - both caught by George Bailey.
David Miller made just five but De Kock reached a 117-ball ton with 13 fours, advancing to 107 before gloving an uppercut at Cummins (three for 54) through to Wade.
That was 206 for five but Berhardien struck fours in seven successive overs to move into the 40s and went on to an impressive 35-ball half-century.
He finished with 63 from 41 balls, adding two sixes to his boundary haul, while Wayne Parnell contributed 18 to a stand of 73 in nine overs.
Australia openers David Warner and Finch put on 37 in five overs before the former fell for 21, well caught by Robin Peterson off Parnell.
Watson got moving with back-to-back fours off Kyle Abbott before another short delay saw Australia's target revised to 275 in 48 overs under the Duckworth-Lewis method.
Finch reached 50 from 39 balls with two successive off-side fours off Peterson and after 15 overs Australia were 105 for one.
Watson pulled Parnell for six but Finch was dismissed for 76 from 67 balls - appropriately via some of the tag-team boundary fielding he and Yorkshire colleague Adam Lyth specialised in last season as Du Plessis teed up the catch for Rossouw.
Watson was on 36 at that stage and his half-century came up off 65 balls, with his fifth four to add to that maximum.
Australia took 30 runs from a batting powerplay in which Smith chopped an Abbott delivery onto his stumps but was reprieved by a no-ball call, and then survived when an edge to keeper De Kock was not spotted.
Watson fell for 82 from 93 balls but Smith responded with 10 runs in three balls and reached a 57-ball half-century with his fourth four, having also hit one six.
Glenn Maxwell could only manage seven and Smith's dismissal, for 67 from 74 balls to another good catch by Rossouw, sparked a collapse which saw Australia lose four wickets for three runs.
George Bailey (four) chipped a fourth catch to Rossouw, Matthew Wade (three) charged Peterson and was bowled through a huge gate and the spinner also bowled Cummins without scoring as he finished with four for 32.
Eight runs were still needed but another Abbott no-ball allowed Faulkner a free hit, which yielded a single, and he hit the first ball of the last over for the winning boundary.
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James Faulkner saw Australia across the winning line