David Warner © Getty Images (File Photo)
Mar 12, 2014
David Warner‘s 16-ball 40 and Brad Hodge‘s calm approach helped Australia overpower South Africa‘s 80 in the rain-curtailed second T20I at Durban on Wednesday. The match was reduced to seven overs a side.
After some blitzkrieg from Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis in the first innings, it was over to a dream opening pair in T20s of David Warner and Aaron Finch going for the target. Lonwabo Tsotsobe was greeted with a boundary smashed past mid-off by Finch. Tsotsobe was ordinary in his bowling giving away easy runs. Despite the outfield protesting to carry anything ahead, Warner went aerial smashing two more boundaries and a six in the over. With 21 in six balls, Australia were well on their way in the T7 match.
It was one of those matches, even three good deliveries was going to swing the momentum. Kyle Abbott bowled a brilliant second over conceding just five runs and picked up the wicket of Finch. It was a great presence of mind from Abbott. He first cramped Finch for room and then followed him to hit him on the pads, Finch was eventually caught Amla at midwicket.
But the big man Warner was not done. It was a tough T20 debut fro Beuran Hendricks. Warner smashed him for a six and two boundaries to snatch the momentum back. Since ground strokes weren’t going to yield much results, Warner ensured that he had enough power to make the cameraman to tilt the camera northwards. He had raced up to 40 from 15 balls after three overs.
The pendulum swung back again when Wayne Parnell bowled a tight over picking the wicket of Shane Watson (2). It was the next over by JP Duminy which was critical. Warner decided to go for a pre-meditated reverse sweep and underestimated Duminy’s ability to bowl a yorker. He was hit on the boot plumb in front of the middle-stump. Duminy struck again in the over removing Glenn Maxwell caught in the covers or one.
Du Plessis sprung a surprise by opting for Hendricks again instead of Abbott or Parnell. The debutant bowled a beamer but Brad Hodge did well to slap it over point for four. A rush of blood from Geroge Bailey and a brilliant fielding from David Miller lead to Bailey being run-out.
With 15 needed in the final over, Parnell came back again to bowl two full deliveries to restrict to two singles. But Hodge was still adept with his T20 skills. Parnell bowled a length delivery and Hodge clobbered it for a six. Hodge cleared the fence once again to equal the scores before Parnell finished the match with a wide.
Earlier, South Africa did well to set at least 11-an over required rate for the Australians to keep some interest in the game. Hashim Amla’s rusty start cost the Proteas some crucial runs. De Kock eventually started off the blaze with a boundary and a six off Shane Watson. Faf du Plessis creamed length deliveries by Dan Christian in the fifth over a boundary and two sixes in consecutive deliveries. Coulter-Nile, bowling the sixth over of the innings was disciplined for most deliveries barring two which was scored off as du Plessis got an inside edge which went for a boundary and de Kock then smacked a low fill-toss over long-off for a six.
South Africa 80/1 in 7 overs (Quinton de Kock 41*, Faf du Plessis 27*; Nathan Coulter-Nile 1 for 17 ) lost to Australia 82 for 5 in 6.4 overs (David Warner 40; JP Duminy 2 for 5) by 5 wickets.
Man of the Match: Brad Hodge
(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)