Australia ended their tour of South Africa with a 2-1 victory in the 3 match T20I series. The series win will act as a huge confidence booster going into the World T20. Australia has had a rough patch in T20Is for the past few months. Earlier this year, the Aussies were whitewashed by the Indians at home. Even in this series, they were 1-0 down. But they showed tremendous character to pull things back in their favour and won the last two T20I comprehensively.
The big news from the South African dug-out at the beginning of the match was that De Villiers had been rested and Hashim Amla had been given a chance to play. Cricket fans and Pundits would not have liked this change as they wanted their ‘Superman’ to be back in form before the World T20. However, Hashim Amla did not disappoint the fans as he played a splendid knock of 97* off 62 balls, star-studded with 8 fours and 4 sixes.
Amla was well supported by De Cock and Miller who scored 25 and 30 runs respectively in quick time. As a result of their efforts, South Africa put up a score of 178/4 on the board in their quota of 20 overs. Coulter-Nile was the most impressive of the Aussie bowlers with figures of 2/36 in 4 overs while Zampa was economical giving away only 23 runs in 4 overs.
Australia was given a tough target to chase. However, Khawaja and Watson got Australia off to a flying start as they put up a stand of 76 runs before Watson was caught on the deep cover boundary of Tahir’s bowling. Khawaja also departed soon after leaving Australia tottering at 78-2. But then Australian Skipper Smith and Warner steadied the ship as they put up a stand of 79 runs for the 3rd wicket before Warner was run out by Tahir with a superb throw from the third man boundary.
Australia required only 22 runs off 17 balls at that time. Glenn Maxwell walked in and blasted his way off to 19 runs off 10 balls. Smith was dismissed by Rabada for 44 (26) as he tried to scoop a full toss and the scoreboard read 169-4 in the 19th over. But Maxwell hit Rabada for a six leaving only 3 to chase from the last over. Mitch Marsh hit the winning runs as Australia won by 6 wickets with 4 balls to spare.
South Africa Won the toss and chose to bat.
South Africa: 178/4 -20 Overs (Amla 97* ; Coulter-Nile 2/36)
Australia: 181/4 – 19.2 Overs ( Smith 44 ; Tahir 2/38)
Australia won by 6 wickets and 4 balls to spare.
Man of the Match : Hashim Amla
Man of the Series: David Warner