Cape Town: South Africa recorded a 25-run win in the third One-Day International against Australia in Cape Town to go 2-1 ahead in the five-match series.
The Proteas managed to post a total of 289-6 that proved just out of reach for the tourists, despite a defiant 63 not out from James Hopes.
The all-rounder belted five fours to equal his career-highest score, though it was not enough to steer his side to an unlikely victory after they had collapsed to 114-5.
Solid contributions from Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers, who shared a century stand for the third wicket, had helped the hosts set their opponents a demanding target.
The pair had come together with the score at 50-2 after Herschelle Gibbs had holed out to deep mid-wicket off the bowling of Nathan Bracken.
Graeme Smith had earlier departed for eight when he became the first of four victims for the impressive Mitchell Johnson.
However, the left-arm paceman received little support from his fellow bowlers, Hopes coming in for the most punishment as his eight wicketless overs went for 64.
Kallis eased his way to 70 off 86 deliveries before giving his wicket away when he pulled a long hop from Brett Geeves straight to Hopes at mid-wicket.
Johnson ended de Villiers' stay at the crease on 80, deceiving the right-hander with a superb slower ball that took a leading edge and looped straight to mid-off.
Despite the loss of two batsmen when well-set the Proteas made full use of their five-over batting powerplay in the closing stages of their innings.
JP Duminy contributed 32 off 26 balls before Albie Morkel (29) and Mark Boucher, who finished unbeaten on 28 from just 15 deliveries, added 53 in a hurry.
Australia's reply suffered an early blow when Brad Haddin was run out with the score on 30. Skipper Ricky Ponting failed to make the most of several let-offs, including being dropped twice in successive balls, as he made only 20.
The right-hander chipped a return catch back to Johan Botha, as South Africa's spinners turned the screw in the middle overs.
Roelof van der Merwe picked up 3-37 off his 10 overs while Duminy's occasional off-spin claimed the key wicket of David Hussey (20).
Callum Ferguson's 63 off 68 balls kept Australia just about alive, Hopes helping him add 97 before a floodlight failure forced a stoppage in play.
The game was eventually able to get back underway and South Africa comfortably held on to clinch a crucial victory to go ahead in the series ahead of Monday's fourth ODI.