'Like kissing your brother, I guess'

Neither side quite sure what to make of thrilling tie in fourth ODI in Coffs Harbour

The thrilling finish to Sunday’s tied one-day international in Coffs Harbour brought with it an empty feeling for both Australia and South Africa, leaving each team pondering what might have been.

For the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars, it was the disappointment of ending a nine-match one-day winning streak, surrendering a strong start with the ball and failing to improve upon their nine-wicket win from the third match in Sydney.

Quick Single: Stars hang on for thrilling tie

But it was the Proteas who arguably felt more bereft by the result, having fought their way into a winning position after being 4-40 early in the chase, only for an Australian fightback with the ball and a collapse of 5-58 to deny them an historic first-ever win over the Southern Stars.

"It's like kissing your brother, I guess," South Africa captain Dane van Niekerk said after the match at Coffs International Stadium.

"I guess I'm very disappointed after the way we played.

"It felt like we played really good cricket tonight, but all credit to the Aussies who played really well at the back end."

Proteas allrounder Kapps off day with 66

Van Niekerk and allrounder Marizanne Kapp fought South Africa's way back into the match with a 144-run fifth-wicket stand, setting the stage for the thrilling finish.

"We felt like we were out of it, to be honest," van Niekerk explained.

"We said we'd just try and get a partnership going, we went slow at the start and when it felt like we had to up the tempo everything fell into place nicely.

"'Kappie' was hitting the ball really nicely, so I just tried to feel her. I never really felt in, so I just let her go and it worked out really well."

Re-live thrilling final over of Southern Stars tie

South Africa have another chance to find that elusive win against Australia, having come agonisingly close in the first game in Canberra with defeat from the final ball before Sunday's tie.

And regardless of what happens in Tuesday's fifth and final ODI, it's been a breakthrough year for the Proteas, who defeated England for the first time in Twenty20s in February and claimed a maiden ODI win over New Zealand last month.

"We have a really good team and we're still growing in world cricket. Tonight was a showcase of what we can do, but it's about getting over the line more often than not," van Niekerk added.

"Credit to my team, they did really well.

"We haven’t had series wins (this year) but its baby steps, this team is going somewhere and progressing every day."

Meanwhile, Australia batter Elyse Villani put the result down to both the batting and bowling departments being "10 per cent off".

Perry peels off another half-century

"We were disappointed not to come away with the chocolates today," Villani said.

"It ebbed and flowed a lot throughout the game but we were probably 20 runs short with the bat.

"We knew we had to have our best bowling performance (to defend that) but we didn’t quite get that today, a draw is better than a loss but we're certainly disappointed with the result.

"All in all we were about 10 per cent off with the bat and 10 per cent off with the ball and the South Africans played really well."

Australia and South Africa will do battle one final time on Tuesday, with the match also to be played in Coffs Harbour.

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Meg Lanning Steve Smith