Wanderers produces another pulsating encounter between the Proteas and the Aussies

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 Nkululeko Zilibokwe

By Nkululeko Zilibokwe,  Caxton Publishers.

Updated: ago

JOBURG - The Wanderers Stadium once again did not disappoint as it provided yet another cricketing spectacle between the Proteas and Australia in front of a sell-out crowd.

 

A brilliant 161-run partnership between David Warner and Glen Maxwell propelled Australia to a pulsating five-wicket victory in the second T20 game of a three-match series.

Wanderers groundsman, Buthuel Buthelezi, once again produced another great surface which had something for both bowlers and batsmen. Australia won the toss and elected to field.

The Proteas made two changes with Dale Steyn and Farhaan Berhadien coming in for Kyle Abbott and Rilee Rossouw. The Aussies made three changes with Nathan Couter-Nile, Andrew Tye and Adam Zampa making way for Shane Watson, Josh Hazelwood and Ashton Agar.

The Proteas got off to a flying start despite losing AB de Villiers as early as the second over for 13 after he chopped one onto his stumps off the bowling of John Hastings.

Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis then combined for a 62-run partnership with De Kock being the chief destroyer as he raced to 44 of 28 balls before he was bowled out by James Faulkner.

Du Plessis played a captain’s innings as he led from the front and reached his seventh 50 in T20s. JP Duminy’s poor run of form continued as he was caught by Steve Smith off the bowling of Mitchell Marsh for 14.

David Miller blasted a quick-fire 33 off 18 balls but he too, soon departed after he looked to clear the ropes but was caught by Maxwell off the bowling of Agar.

Du Plessis, meanwhile, was putting the Aussie bowlers to the sword as wickets fell at the other end. Berhadien and Chris Morris did not last long as they were both dismissed by Faulkner.

Du Plessis’ fine knock eventually came to an end with his 79 being the major contributor to the Proteas’ total of 204, their highest against the Australians.

Kagiso Rabada opened the bowling and produced a well-directed yorker to dismiss the dangerous Aaron Finch for two runs. A few overs later, the former St Stithians Boys College pupil, playing at his home ground, was once again in the thick of things when he took an excellent one-handed catch on the boundary to get rid of Shane Watson off the bowling of Steyn.

However, Maxwell and Warner took the game away from the home side as they pummeled the bowlers all over the park.

A dramatic final over filled with fumbles in the field saw Faulkner and Marsh take Australia over the line to complete their highest successful T20 chase.

 

 Nkululeko Zilibokwe

Nkululeko Zilibokwe  

Caxton Publishers.

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