Australia beat South Africa in high-scoring clash to level T20I series

Published: Sunday 6th March 2016 by The News Editor

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David Warner and Glenn Maxwell led Australia to a dramatic last-ball win over South Africa in the second Twenty20 international to level the series.

Chasing a hefty target after captain Faf du Plessis (79) and Quinton de Kock (44) guided South Africa to 204 for seven in Johannesburg, Australia looked in trouble at 32 for three in the sixth over.

But Warner made 77 from 40 balls and Maxwell 75 from 43, sharing a stand of 161, before leaving Mitchell Marsh and James Faulkner to finish the job with five wickets in hand.

Australia won the toss but after AB de Villiers got the ball rolling with 13 from nine balls, De Kock and Du Plessis put the Proteas in a strong position.

They put on 62 in six overs for the second wicket before De Kock’s 28-ball blast, featuring eight fours and a six, ended when he was bowled by a Faulkner full toss.

JP Duminy contributed 14 and David Miller hammered 33 from 18 balls, with two fours and two sixes, to dominate a stand of 41 with his skipper.

He hoisted Ashton Agar to Maxwell at long-off and Faulkner removed Farhaan Behardien and Chris Morris cheaply but Du Plessis powered on, reaching a 33-ball half-century.

Du Plessis fell to the penultimate ball of the innings, having hit five sixes and five fours in 41 deliveries, and David Wiese hit the last for six to lift the hosts beyond 200. Faulkner took three for 28 from his four overs.

Kagiso Rabada bowled Aaron Finch in the first over of Australia’s reply and when Dale Steyn removed Shane Watson and captain Steve Smith – the latter brilliantly caught one-handed by Rabada diving backwards at third man – South Africa seemed well on their way to a series win having won the opener in Durban.

But Warner, in at number four, and Maxwell had other ideas and targeted Wiese and Imran Tahir in particular – the pair’s eight overs went for 105.

Maxwell was first to 50, from 26 balls, before Warner followed from 25, with five fours and three sixes apiece in a tremendous display of power hitting.

There was a final twist to come, as Maxwell sliced Morris to deep cover from the fifth ball of the 19th over and Rabada bowled Warner with the first ball of the 20th.

The young paceman bowled two wides in the remainder of the over, though, and Faulkner hit three twos and a single to leave two needed off the last ball and Marsh facing for the first time.

A super over decider was still in prospect but Marsh drove Rabada straight down the ground and the batsmen sprinted two.

The third and final T20I takes place in Cape Town on Wednesday.

Published: Sunday 6th March 2016 by The News Editor

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