David Miller struck a blistering half-century © AFP (File Photo)
David Miller struck a blistering half-century © AFP (File Photo)

South African middle-order batsman David Miller struck a blistering half-century, as Proteas registered a thrilling three-wicket win over visitors Australia in the first of the three-match Twenty20 International (T20I) at the Kingsmead Stadium in Durban on Friday. Earlier, Australian skipper Steven Smith won the toss and elected to bat first, as they put up a challenging total of 157, courtesy of Aaron Finch’s 40 and Mitchell Marsh’s 35, while Imran Tahir claimed three for 21. Australia fielded a balanaced side, while South Africa missed out on Dale Steyn and Hashim Amla too was benched for the game. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: South Africa vs Australia 2016, 1st T20I at Durban

The chase began on a shaky note for the Proteas as they lost skipper AB de Villiers for an unfortunate duck of the very first ball of the innings from Nathan Couler-Nile, after being caught behind by Peter Nevill. After the opening 17 runs, it was his fellow opener Quinton de Kock, who too fell for mere seven to the same man in the third over. The sixth over saw the fall of the third wicket in the form of JP Duminy for mere five to Andrew Tye, as the score read 41 for the loss of three.

Neverthelss, it was followed by a healthy 31-run stand for the fourth wicket between Faf du Plessis and Rilee Rossouw, before Rossouw fell for 19 to fast-bowler Mitchell Marsh in the 10th over, followed by du Plessis off the very next ball for an unfortunate run out for 40. The next pair of David Miller and David Wiese added 21 runs, before Wiese fell for mere 13 off an unfortunate run out in the 13th over. FULL CRICKET UPDATES: South Africa vs Australia 2016, 1st T20I at Durban

It was followed by another big partnership between Miller and Chris Morris, as the duo added crucial 39 runs, before Morris departed for eight off Coulter-Nile in the 17th over, as the score read 134 for the loss of seven. It was the final pair of Miller and Kyle Abbott that steered South Africa to the victory in the final over, while Miller also scored his half-century in the process. Coulter-Nile finished as the top wicket-taker for Australia with a figure of three for 29, while Miller was adjudjed the Man of the Match.

Brief scores

Australia 157 for 9 in 20 Overs (Aaron Finch 40, Mitchell Marsh 35; Imran Tahir 3 for 21) lost to South Africa 158 for 7 in 19.2 Overs (Quniton de Kock 40, David Miller 53*, Nathan Coulter-Nile 3 for 29) by 3 wickets.

Man of the Match: David Miller (South Africa)

Match Gallery

Full Scorecard

(Ayush Gupta is a reporter at CricketCountry. A passionate supporter of Manchester United, he idolises Roger Federer and is also a World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) maniac. He can be followed on Twitter @Ayush24x7)