Officer Frank had a pair of safe hands.
Officer Frank had a pair of safe hands.

Cricket cop becomes an instant hero

Officer Frank was keeping fans safe in more ways than one during the third ODI between Australia and South Africa last night.

The policeman, who was patrolling the stands during the Proteas' 40 run win over the home side in Hobart, showed up a handful of bumbling spectators with a brilliant catch from a Shaun Marsh six late in the Aussies' innings.

Marsh launched four maximums en route to a sparkling 106 as he and Marcus Stoinis (63, four sixes) upped the ante while trying to chase down South Africa's 5/320.

But until Frank's heroics, the Blundstone Arena crowd had been largely disappointing as several supporters put down catches during Marsh and Stoinis' aerial raid. But the man in the high-vis vest showed his fellow Tasmanians how it's done with a spectacular effort behind deep square leg.

Marsh's pull shot went flat and hard and Frank was up to the task, even if he did tumble to the ground as he tried desperately to hold on.

After getting to his feet he chucked the ball high in the air and raised both arms in triumph, soaking up the applause from the appreciative crowd.

"I've seen a lot of catches dropped today and I thought, 'I'm not dropping this one, whatever it takes,' so I've gone down with the ball, torn my brand new pants but it's worth it," Frank told Fox Sports reporter Neroli Meadows.

"It had a fair bit on it and it wasn't slowing down. It got me around there (high on the chest), got my hands around it."

Centuries to captain Faf du Plessis and David Miller in a record-breaking partnership led South Africa to a 40-run win over Australia in the third and deciding ODI.

The Proteas were under pressure at 3/55 in the 16th over after being sent in to bat before du Plessis (125) led a comeback with Miller (139) to guide South Africa to 5/320 after its 50 overs.

The pair's stand of 252 was the biggest ODI partnership against Australia. The previous best was 237 between Sri Lanka's Marvan Atapattu and Sanath Jayasuriya in an ODI in 2003.

Australian captain Aaron Finch promoted big hitter Chris Lynn to opener but the Queenslander went for a first-ball duck to start Australia off poorly in its run chase.

Australia made a late run but ended up being well short of the total and finished at 9/280 despite Marsh's best efforts.

Marsh restored the Australian innings in a 107-run stand with Stoinis after Australia found itself in trouble at 3/39 in the 11th over.

Dale Steyn took 3/45 in his 10 overs, including Lynn's wicket, in what is expected to be his last appearance in Australia in the one-day format. He plans to retire from limited-overs cricket after next year's World Cup.

Du Plessis, who notched his 10th limited-overs century and hit 15 fours, and Miller took advantage of Australia's wayward seamers late in the innings. They had some luck, though. Australian wicketkeeper Alex Carey dropped du Plessis on 29 off the bowling of Glenn Maxwell in what should have been a regulation caught behind.

Maxwell had a second moment of frustration in the 33rd over when he appeared to have trapped Miller in front for 41. But a review, called for at the last moment by the batsmen, showed the ball narrowly travelling over the stumps.

South Africa scored 75 runs in the final five overs.

South Africa won the first match in Perth by six wickets and Australia the second in Adelaide by seven runs, ending a seven-match ODI losing streak.

News Corp Australia

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