Australia suffered their fourth consecutive loss in Twenty20 Internationals as they lost by 21 runs to South Africa. (Image credit: Twitter)
South Africa, who recently clinched the ODI series 2-1, continued to pile the misery on Australia as they secured a 21-run win in the one-off Twenty20 International played at the Carrara Oval in Queensland on Saturday in a match reduced to 10 overs per-side after rain delayed the start of the match. The new venue, situated on the Gold Coast of Australia, was hosting its first ever international game but there was a major threat as rain delayed the start by more than two hours. However, once the rain abated, the match started quickly and South Africa chose to bat.
The Proteas made a quick start, with Quinton de Kock launching Jason Behrendorff over deep square leg to get off the mark with a six. Reeza Hendricks smashed a four off the fifth ball past cover as Australia leaked 15 runs. De Kock launched Billy Stanlake over long off for his second six but the third over, the final one in the powerplay, proved extremely costly for Australia as Hendricks blasted a four and a six off Nathan Coulter-Nile. Although the bowler had his revenge, South Africa had smashed 42 runs in the powerplay.
Skipper Faf du Plessis (27) and Heinrich Klassen (12) found the boundaries on a regular basis. However, Glenn Maxwell lit up the evening with a stunning catch to send back du Plessis. The Proteas skipper blasted a short ball from Stanlake flat to deep midwicket. Maxwell, positioned on the boundary, leapt up and caught the ball with both hands. Realising that he might go over the ropes, he threw the ball mid-air as he tumbled to the other side of the boundary. He recovered and took the catch on the second attempt. The effort even earned the appreciation of former AB de Villiers, who termed it the ‘best catch he had ever seen.’
Despite losing quick wickets towards the end, South Africa ended on 108/6.
In response, Australia also started off brilliantly with Chris Lynn hammering Kagiso Rabada for two boundaries. However, Lungi Ngidi got Aaron Finch (7) but the third over bowled by Chris Morris totally robbed Australia of momentum. Morris removed D’Arcy Short for a golden duck but the wicket of Lynn for 14 gave the Proteas the advantage.
With Marcus Stoinis (5), Ben McDermott (4) and Alex Carey (8) departing cheaply, the onus was on Maxwell. The right-hander responded by smashing Andile Phehlukwayo over deep midwicket for a six and got two further boundaries off Rabada. However, with 31 needed off the last over, Maxwell hit a six off Ngidi but could not do much as Australia suffered a 21-run loss, their fourth consecutive loss in the format after being whitewashed 3-0 by Pakistan earlier in the UAE.