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ICC T20 WC 2021 - Super 12, Aus vs SA - Stoinis, Wade carry Australia home in low-scoring thriller

Stoinis, Wade hold their nerves in last-over and carry Australia home

Australia 121 for 5 (Smith 35, Nortje 21/2) beat South Africa 118 for 9 (Markram 40, Hazlewood 19/2, Zampa 21/2, Starc 32/2) by five wickets.

ICC T20 WC 2021 - Super 12, Aus vs SA - Stoinis, Wade carry Australia home in low-scoring thriller, Australia beat South Africa in first game of T20 World Cup 2021
Australia clinch last-over thriller with 2 balls remaining against SA (©ICC/GettyImages)

Australia and South Africa squared off in the first Super 12 match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Australia skipper Aaron Finch won the toss and opted to field.

Awful start for Proteas

Proteas opener Temba Bavuma started with two boundaries in the first over of the innings, bowled by left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc. However, Aussie skipper Aaron Finch brought off-break bowler, Glenn Maxwell, into the attack, who cleaned up the stumps of Bavuma in his first over.

Also, Rassie van der Dussen edged behind the wicket, only to be caught by wicketkeeper Matthew Wade. Second opener Quinton de Kock played an awkward shot only to see the ball crashing into the stumps. He could score only 7 runs.

After losing the leader of their batting, Proteas went into panic mode.

Proteas barely cross the three-figure mark

Heinrich Klaasen and Aiden Markram tried to stitch a partnership but Pat Cummins sent Klaasen home for 13. Veteran Proteas batter David Miller got out leg before against leggie Adam Zampa on 16.

Proteas continued to lose wickets at regular intervals throughout the whole innings. Markram was the only saving grace for them as he stuck to the pitch till the 18th over but lost his wicket to Starc. He made 40 runs off 36 balls with the help of three boundaries and one six.

Due to this horrendous batting outing of Proteas, they looked far from reaching the three-figure mark, however, lower-order batter Kagiso Rabada smashed a few boundaries to help the Proteas reach 118/9 in 20 overs.

Aussie opening duo sent back to dugout early in the innings

Proteas speedsters Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Norje bowled the opening overs with lightning pace to put the Aussie openers in trouble. Aussie skipper Finch departed early in the innings for a precocious duck as Rabada grabbed his catch close to third man. The other opener David Warner smashed three boundaries off Rabada in two overs, however, the latter hit back at the batter to take his wicket, as Klaasen took a sharp catch at backward point.

Middle-order batters helped Australia reach the target but not without hiccups

Proteas bowlers put pressure on Aussie batters which led them to score only 28 runs in the powerplay. All-rounder Mitchell Marsh was caught by van der Dussen at deep mid-wicket.

As Australia struggled on 38/3, Steven Smith and Glenn Maxwell stabilised the innings by adding 42 runs for the fourth wicket. However, Smith lost his wicket while pulling a short delivery bowled by Nortje, as Markram took a stunning catch in the air with a dive at deep mid-wicket. Maxwell went to play his trademark switch hit, however, he got bowled by world ‘s top-ranked T20I bowler Tabraiz Shamsi.

As Aussie batters faltered at key moments of the innings, the fate of the match went into the end overs. All-rounder Marcus Stoinis, along with wicketkeeper-batter Matthew Wade, helped his side reach the target with two boundaries in the last two overs.

Bavuma's captaincy left a lot to be desired as he didn't save the overs of premier SA bowlers, Rabada and Keshav Maharaj in the final overs. Nortje did Bowl in the end overs but Pretorius from the other end was really ineffective.

ICC T20 World Cup Group 1 Points Table
ICC Points Table Group 1

What Lies Ahead

Winners Australia will play against Sri Lanka on coming Thursday in the Super 12 round whereas the Proteas will be at odds with West Indies on coming Tuesday.

West Indies are playing England in Dubai in the second Super 12 round match as this article hits the stands.

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