About the Match
Hosts South Africa won the first T20 match against Australia by 3 wickets to take a 1-0 lead in this 3-match T20 series; the two teams will now face each other on 6th March a Johannesburg for the 2nd T20 match. Australia posted 157 runs batting first, which the Proteans chased successfully after a few hiccups with 4 balls to spare. The upcoming match is a must-win for Australia in order to draw level; the hosts on the other hand, will try their best to dominate again on the field and take the series with a win here.
AB de Villiers opened the innings but fell in the very first ball; with the dismissal of Quinton in the 3rd over, things looked really glum for the hosts until Faf du Plessis came to the field. He scored a well-made 40 off 26 and performed well with the bat till he got run-out; Riless Russouw and David Miller then took charge and steered the team towards the target. Miller posted a brilliant 53 off 35 and with help from all-rounder David Wiese, the Proteans won the match with 4 balls to spare. Earlier, with the ball too Wiese took 2 wickets to stifle the opposition while Imran Tahir was the pick of the bowlers with 3-21; pacemen Kagiso Rabada, Abbott and Chris Morris took 4 wickets between them to restrict Australia to 157 runs.
Players like Duminy and Quinton de Kock need to step up in the upcoming match and focus on building strong partnerships; Australia will come back stronger here and the hosts need to up their ante in order to thwart the opposition’s plans. The bowling squad is doing well; Tahir is back in form and this is a good sign for the team as they prepare for the World T20 coming soon.
If the top order clicks and can post a solid foundation if batting first or during chase, then surely the bowlers will leave no stone unturned to strike back with a match-winning performance on Sunday.
Smith couldn’t impress with the bat as he fell cheaply for just 6 runs; Finch, who scored a quick fire 40 off just 18 balls partnered with Warner at No. 3 to take the scoreboard to 71 runs. Mitchell Marsh did well to score 35 runs while Maxwell contributed with 17 runs but the others fell like a pack of cards, losing the plot against bowlers like Tahir and Wiese.
With only 157 runs to defend, Nathan Coulter-Nile made the best of the situation as he grabbed 3 wickets to cause upsets for the hosts; Andrew Tye and Marsh took a wicket each to stifle the opponents but others gave away too many runs in the end, losing the match by 3 wickets.
The Aussies have a much inexperienced team consisting of bowlers like Tye and Zampa; with the spin attack not being the best, they need to come back with a better strategy here. The batsmen also need to pull up their socks and prepare for another onslaught by the South African bowlers.
South Africa has the upper hand going into the second match but will be cautious against the Aussies, who will not take the defeat lying low. The contest could go down to the wire, but we feel South Africa will keep its nerves together to emerge victorious and take the series