Good, better, Australia

2014-03-15 09:10

South Africa: 128/7 (De Kock 41, Morkel 18, Parnell 17, Starc 2/16, Maxwell 2/19, Hogg 2/31, Henriques 1/15)

Australia: 129/4 (Finch 39, Watson 35, Maxwell 17, Imran Tahir 2/21, Parnell 1/15, Hendricks 1/21)

Toss: Australia

Australia won by six wickets to take the series 2-0.

On the back of excellent bowling and insipid batting by the Proteas, Australia cantered to an easy T20 series victory at SuperSport Park last night.

The visitors batted as if their Qantas flight was leaving at 12am and they needed to be out of there by 9.30pm. Australia made light work of the mediocre target, strolling home in 15 overs.

It was a fitting end to what has been an Australian-dominated tour. They were the better side in both games.

Australia lost Cameron White (14) early but the muscle of Aaron Finch saw them motoring to 47/1 in five overs. It was the kind of start that makes small totals irrelevant. He did not last very long, skying Imran Tahir to David Miller at deep midwicket.

It left Australia at 67/2 but in eight overs. There was a stutter towards the end when Glenn Maxwell and Shane Watson fell in quick succession but the hard work had been done by the bowlers.

Mitchell Starc took advantage of a spicy surface that has been under covers for the better part of two weeks. The humid, overcast conditions were ripe for swing and the pacy Starc made the most of them.

Having kept Quinton de Kock quiet and also pinning him in the neck with a vicious bouncer, Starc started the wicket rollercoaster, trapping Hashim Amla plumb leg before for only two runs.

Captain Faf du Plessis (5) flattered but could not deceive, only succeeding in spooning Maxwell to Brad Hogg at mid-off. South Africa were 22/2 in the fourth over and the innings was practical dead in the water. An absurd decision to put JP Duminy ahead of AB de Villiers did not pay the expected dividends, with Duminy struggling against Maxwell and Hogg. Frustration took hold of Duminy and he holed out to Moises Henriques at deep cover off the miserly Maxwell.

De Villiers’ (11) appearance did not yield much, picking out Brad Hodge at deep square-leg off Hogg. David Miller (2) followed soon after, falling to Henriques and the Proteas were 75/5.

Hopes of a total over 140 vanished with the disappointment of the top five. De Kock played a mature lone hand but there was no tangible support from the other end.

De Kock’s vigil ended when he received a ripper from the evergreen Hogg, which he edged and was well caught by Brad Haddin.

The returning Albie Morkel fired briefly but was castled by the impressive Starc, killing off the South African challenge. Wayne Parnell and Beuran Hendricks hit out lustily but it was too little, too late.

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