About the Match
Snatching a last-ball win against hosts South Africa, Australia drew level in the 3-match T20 series, which now stands at 1-1; the two countries will face off in the 3rd T20 match at Cape Town on 9th March to try and lift the trophy here before starting their respective World T20 campaigns. While South Africa convincingly won the first T20 match by 3 wickets, they couldn’t stop the Aussie batsmen from chasing down 205 runs in the second match. The upcoming contest will definitely test the skills and perseverance of the players; the team that can keep a cool head above its shoulders will be better placed to dominate and win the match on Wednesday.
Quinton de Kock performed better in the last match, scoring 44 off 28 deliveries while Faf du Plessis built the foundation with his powerful 79 off 41 balls; in the earlier match too, Plessis had shouldered the burden of getting the big runs and he is in good form with the bat. David Miller managed 33 runs from just 18 deliveries but players like AB de Villiers and JP Duminy couldn’t impress much with the bat again.
Dale Steyn made a superb comeback with 2-32; Rabada also took 2 scalps while Chris Morris continued with his wicket-taking abilities. However, the target of 204 runs proved to be less against a determined Aussie batting prowess and they lost the match by 5 wickets in a last-ball finish. In the first match, Imran Tahir had led the attack with his splendid 3-21 while Wiese, Rabada and Morris took regular wickets to stifle the opponents to 157 runs, which the batsmen achieved easily.
The Proteas have a good variety of spin ad pace attack, which they need to use cleverly in the last match in order to dominate the Aussies; the batting line-up needs to focus on building partnerships and all-rounders like Duminy must play an important role to help their team win the match.
Chasing 205 runs, Australia was in trouble with the quick dismissals of openers Finch, Smith and Watson; but it was Warner and Maxwell, who brought out all the firepower they had by posting 70+ runs each to steer the team towards victory. The duo put up a massive and brilliant 161-run partnership for the 4th wicket, exhibiting their skills and determination to succeed. Earlier, the bowlers couldn’t put up a disciplined attack and players like Hazlewood, Agar, Hastings and Marsh gave away too many runs compared to the better figures of Nathan Coulter-Nile or Zampa.
Faulkner was brilliant with his 3-28 and if he continues to put up a fierce attack, the hosts might yet again find themselves in a soup. Hastings took 2 wickets while Marsh and Agar took one scalp each but they need to control their line and length in order to stifle the opponents here.
Overall, they have done well to keep the series alive after a dismal performance in the first match; if the batsmen can yet again come out all guns blazing, then surely they can dominate here.
Both teams have struggled with death bowling and it will be important for them to put up a more disciplined effort with the ball; the match could surely go either way but we feel that South Africa will learn from its past mistakes and make a comeback to win the match and series on Wednesday