SA go down fighting in rain-hit Durban T20

2014-03-13 00:00

AFTER a two-and-a-half-hour delay, play finally got underway at Kingsmead yesterday at 8.30 pm in the second T20 international between the Proteas and Australia, turning the match into a T7 bash as each side was allotted seven overs each.

Scheduled to start at 6 pm, incessant drizzle prevented any play until it abated enough to allow the two captains — Faf du Plessis and George Bailey — to toss at 8.15 pm. Winning the toss, the Aussies opted to bowl on a pitch that had everyone guessing as to what it would deliver.

Cobras left-arm fast medium bowler Beuran Hendricks made his debut for the Proteas and for the Kingsmead faithful, local heroes Kyle Abbott and David Miller were in the ranks. With the first two overs the powerplay, there was not much time for the batsmen to settle and it was a case of throwing the bat at anything white within hitting distance. Hashim Amla (4) looked out of sorts as he was the only Protea wicket to fall in a total of 80-1.

After three overs with the score at 11-1, there was talk that whatever the Proteas posted, the Aussies would get them in singles. However, Quinton de Kock launched into Shane Watson, hitting him for two sixes as the run rate gained some respect.

Du Plessis dished out the same to Dan Christian and the 50 was on the board from 35 balls, plus the second- wicket 50 partnership in 25 balls. Lusty hitting by de Kock who ended on 41* (20 balls) saw the Proteas to their total at a scoring rate of 11,9.

In reply, David Warner and Aaron Finch bashed Lonwabo Tsotsobe to the tune of 21 runs in the first over, before Abbott dismissed Finch (5) to ease the pressure. JP Duminy’s first over, the fifth of the innings, was decisive as he dismissed Warner (40) and Glenn Maxwell (1).

It came down to 15 runs off six balls and Brad Hodge delivered, taking Wayne Parnell to the cleaners with two sixes to win with two balls to spare, the winning run a wide. Australia made 82-5 and are 1-0 up.

Duminy (2-5) was the best bowler.

The final T20 is tomorrow, at SuperSport Park.

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