30 November 2021 19:31

T20 WC: Australia beats South Africa in nail-biting thriller

Stoinis and Wade showed a cool head to get us over the line, and that is what a bit of experience can do.

Australia all-rounder Marcus Stoinis played a knock of 24 runs as his side defeats South Africa by five wickets in a nail-biting thriller match here at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

Both the teams played the first Super 12s match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 in Abu Dhabi on Saturday. Chasing 119, Australia started off at a low pace with skipper Aaron Finch being sent back by Anrich Nortje without scoring a single run.

Following Finch, David Warner and Mitchell Marsh also lost their wickets and by the end of the 7.5 overs, Australia was 38/3.

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Steve Smith played an innings of 35 runs in 34 balls and kept the hopes for his side alive. But at the end of the 15.2 overs, Smith and Glenn Maxwell were also sent back, leaving the team’s total to 81/5. It was Stoinis, who in partnership with wicketkeeper Matthew Wade, ended the match with a boundary and took Australia home.

Earlier in the match, South Africa lost early wickets, with Australia’s Josh Hazelwood and Adma Zampa scalping two wickets each. The South African skipper Temba Bavuma was the first wicket, which was followed by Van der Dussen and Quinton de Kock. Batter Aiden Markram then smashed 40 runs off 36 balls and brought his side to a decent total of 118/9.

Needed bit of luck to go our way and it did, says Aaron Finch

“The dugout was relaxed than I was. Quite stressful, and I was nervous. Stoinis and Wade showed a cool head to get us over the line, and that is what a bit of experience can do. Maxwell did a really good job with the ball. We knew he had good catchups in the power play. Our whole bowling unit was outstanding,” said the Australian skipper in a post-match presentation.

“We have some world-class players back in our side now and experienced players count in a World Cup. SA are as good a fielding team as anyone in the world. They are quick, bowl with discipline. We needed a bit of luck to go our way and it did,”

he added.

Finch also called praised bowler Josh Hazlewood for his breakthrough performance in the nail-biting thriller.

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“Ideally I would have loved to push Hazlewood for a third over in the power play. He is a world-class bowler. He has accuracy and on a wicket providing variation, it can be tough. We understand that at different points guys need to rest and it gives others opportunities,” said Finch.

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Australia will now be facing Sri Lanka for their next ICC Men’s T20 World Cup clash on October 28 in Dubai, while South Africa will be going against West Indies on October 26.

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Brief scores: South Africa 118/9 (Aiden Markram 40, Kagiso Rabada, 19; Anrich Nortje 4-21); Australia 121/5 (Steve Smith 35, Marcus Stoinis 24; Josh Hazelwood 2-19)

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