Australia thrash South Africa to win T20 series
Australia reprised their commanding Wanderers performance and crushed a meek South African team by a comprehensive 97 runs to claim a 2-1 series win on Wednesday night.
Like in the first T20 in Johannesburg, Australia lost the toss, started fast, scored big and strangled the hapless hosts in the subsequent chase.
In making 193/5, Australia forced the hosts to make the highest successful T20 chase at Newlands.
They didn’t even get close. In fact, they were non-starters as they fell to 96 all out, the lowest team total at Newlands. It was embarrassing stuff.
Just like the Wanderers, the hosts failed to get to three figures as they wilted in the face of a disciplined and constricting bowling performance from the visitors.
It was an abject all-round display from South Africa, who couldn’t string together meaningful partnerships.
From the fourth ball of the innings when Mitchell Starc (3/23) repeated his Wanderers start by detonating Quinton de Kock’s (five) middle-stump, South Africa couldn’t keep up with the run-rate. 6/1 became 23/2 when Faf du Plessis (five) picked out Adam Zampa at third man.
Rassie van der Dussen (24) and Heinrich Klaasen (22) stitched together a 34-run stand for the third wicket but once they fell to Zampa (2/10) and Ashton Agar (3/16) respectively, South Africa were 59/4 in the ninth over.
The game was gone as a contest and all that remained was for Australia to administer the last rites. They needed another seven overs to do so with Pite van Biljon (one), David Miller (11) and Dwaine Pretorius (11) not offering much in the way of resistance.
When they fell to Zampa, Pat Cummins (1/27) and Mitchell Marsh (1/3) respectively, SA slipped to 87/7 in 13.1 overs.
There also was enough time for Agar to be on a hattrick when he dismissed Anrich Nortje (2) and Lungi Ngidi (nought) in consecutive balls but Tabraiz Shamsi (2*) kept out the hattrick ball.
Starc then finished what he started by trapping Kagiso Rabada in front to complete the rout.
It was a case of South Africa starting and ending the innings poorly, with a lot of constricting bowling in-between.
When David Warner (57) and Aaron Finch (55) motored unfussed at the start of the innings, Australia were coasting at more than 10 an over and looked odds-on for more than.
That SA kept Australia to below 200 was an achievement and indictment at the same time.
Warner and Finch were allowed to punch boundaries with little pressure, with 10 coming off the first six overs as they put together a 120-run stand in 11.3 overs.
Australia’s 50 was raised in four overs and after five overs, they were 63/0.
When the powerplay ended after six overs, Australia were 74/0 and South Africa were without an answer.
South Africa torture at the hands of Warner and Finch continued, with the former raising his 50 off 33 balls while the latter reached his in 27 balls.
In their early rampage, they’d crashed 11 fours and three sixes. Australia’s early joyride ended in the 11th and 12th overs when Warner holed out to David Miller at square leg off Anrich Nortje (1/46) while Finch was trapped in front by Tabraiz Shamsi (1/25).
Matthew Wade (10), Mitchell Marsh (19) and Alex Carey (seven) didn’t have the same impression. They gifted their wickets to Lungi Ngidi (1/33), Dwaine Pretorius (1/42) and Kagiso Rabada (1/42) respectively.
Such was SA’s middle order squeeze; Australia only scored 59 runs between the 11th and the 19th overs. Steven Smith though was still there. He pillaged 20 runs off the final Nortje over with two cleanly hit sixes to help Australia passed the 190-mark. It proved to be more than enough.