About the Match
After losing their opening game against West Indies, South Africa bounced back with a win against Australia by a massive 47 runs; both teams have 5 points each and they will take on each other again on 11th June at Basseterre for the 4th match of the tri-series. While Australia has defeated West Indies in their earlier match by 6 wickets in complete domination, they couldn’t overcome the challenges posed by the Protean bowlers, both in pace and spin; they will try to avenge their defeat with a much better performance on Saturday. On the other hand, South Africa will be eager to continue with their winning momentum and will surely come out all guns blazing to do so.
The spinners Nathan Lyon and Adam Zampa proved to be match-winners for the team by claiming 3 wickets each and stifling the Windies in their run-flow; with Maxwell, Marsh and Starc, who was returning after injury, contributing with 4 wickets between them, Australia restricted the hosts to a lowly 116, getting them all-out in less than 33 overs. Hazlewood put up a brilliant spell and he brings depth to the pace attack; the bowling squad is consistent with the wickets and in controlling the runs.
Chasing 117, the in-form David Warner, posted a run-a-ball 55 and continues to be the top-scorer for his side; Khawaja at No.3 brings stability to the top-order along with Aaron Finch, and he contributed with 27 runs. Although the Aussie middle order fell cheaply to the Windies’ spin attack, the visitors pulled off an easy win by 6 wickets in just 26 overs.
The batting line-up has strong and experienced hitters like Warner, Finch, Maxwell, Steve Smith, Khawaja and Mitchell Marsh, who can build the foundation and go on to ramp up the scoring with huge sixes and fours. They will be cautious against South African speedsters and with a proper game plan, Australia can definitely rule at the top.
Behardien stuck his feet firmly on the ground to post 62 off 82 against the Aussies; with ABD, Russouw, Duminy, Amla and Quinton out early on, he shouldered the responsibility of building a competitive total of 189 runs, which got him the player of the match award. The bowlers then came out with all their firepower to annihilate the Aussie batting line-up, claiming wickets quickly; fast-bowler Rabada took a stupendous 3-13 in 7 overs while Parnell provided 3 important breakthroughs.
Spinners have been very successful and against Aussies too they proved to be dangerous; Imran Tahir and Phangiso took 2 wickets each while Chinaman Shamsi dismissed Maxwell cleverly. The bowling unit has done well consistently and they add a definite edge to the team. Russouw will miss the rest of the series due to shoulder injury but others like Quinton, Amla, ABD, Duminy, Morris and Behardien are in good form to take their team across the finish line.
The batting performance has not been to the best yet and they will definitely try to dominate yet again on Saturday.
South Africa has already tasted sweet victory once and they will be hungry for more; on the other hand, wounded tigers from down-under have revenge in their eyes and will love to finish the task which they failed to do in their last game. Considering the fact that it will be a faster surface which will suit both the teams, I'd place my money on the Proteas