JP shines, but rest fail to fire

2009-01-13 00:00

AUSTRALIA sealed a 2-0 Twenty20 series triumph over South Africa in Brisbane yesterday, after chasing down 158 with seven balls to spare.

Mike Hussey and Cameron White saw the Aussies home with a flurry of boundaries as South Africa ran out of options in the field.

The tourists’ problems started early in the match, with Herschelle Gibbs struggling to find form and placing huge pressure on an inexperienced middle order.

That the Proteas got to 157 owed much to the continued golden run of JP Duminy. The impish Cobras left-hander has gone from bit-part player to man of the moment in barely one month and his classy 69 off 41 balls was another gem to treasure. He simply can’t be left on the sidelines anymore.

Aside from Duminy, Hashim Amla made a run-a-ball 26, while Mark Boucher and Albie Morkel battled briefly alongside Duminy before falling.

David Warner, Australia’s hero in the first match in Melbourne, was overwhelmed by expectation and scratched around briefly before being bowled by Dale Steyn.

Johan Botha’s early bowling tactics saw Australia fall behind the rate and lose Warner’s opening partner Shaun Marsh, but Ricky Ponting and Hussey then came to the rescue.

Hussey, after being given a life when Boucher fumbled a stumping opportunity, targeted debutant Wayne Parnell.

He smashed him for three consecutive boundaries to wrest the initiative from the Proteas and found some form after a tough Test series.

Even the loss of Ponting to a smart run-out by Morne Morkel didn’t halt Australia.

Duminy again gave the Proteas a glimmer of hope with a quite stunning running catch on the long-off fence to get rid off David Hussey, but it was not to be.

Duminy misjudged a flat, fast chance from White in Parnell’s final over and the Aussies sailed home, with White smashing the next three balls for boundaries in a tough introduction for young Parnell.

Although Botha’s young side ran Australia much closer yesterday, it still looks very likely that the ODI series that starts on Friday will be a long battle for the Proteas.

Before the limited overs series started, the talk from the Proteas was that they will use the series to learn. On the evidence of the Twenty20 series, there could be quite a few harsh lessons dealt out if South Africa’s experienced core don’t come to the fore. And soon.

Scoreboard

South Africa innings

HM Amla c White b Hilfenhaus 26

HH Gibbs c MEK Hussey b Hopes 6

JP Duminy not out 69

VB van Jaarsveld lbw b DJ Hussey 0

MV Boucher c Tait b Hopes 19

JA Morkel c DJ Hussey b Bracken 19

ND McKenzie not out 7

Extras (lb 7, w 4) 11

Total (for 5; 20 overs) 157

Did not bat: J Botha, DW Steyn, WD Parnell, M Morkel

Fall of wickets: 1-35, 2-40, 3-41, 4-90, 5-128

Bowling: Tait 4-0-37-0 (1w), Bracken 4-0-29-1 (1w), Hilfenhaus 4-0-32-1 (2w), Hopes 4-0-29-2, DJ Hussey 3-0-18-1, Hussey 1-0-5-0

Australia innings

SE Marsh c Botha b M Morkel 15

DA Warner b Steyn 7

RT Ponting run out (M Morkel) 38

MEK Hussey not out 53

DJ Hussey c Duminy b M Morkel 2

CL White not out 40

Extras (lb 3, w 3) 6

Total (for 4; 18.5 overs) 161

Did not bat: JR Hopes, L Ronchi, BW Hilfenhaus, NW Bracken, SW Tait

Fall of wickets: 1-21, 2-29, 3-90, 4-92

Bowling: Botha 4-0-19-0, Steyn 3-0-19-1 (3w), Parnell 4-0-44-0, Morkel 3.5-0-32-2,

Morkel 3-0-36-0, Duminy 1-0-8-0

Result: Australia won by 6 wickets

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