Australia thrash South Africa by 97 runs to win T20 series

By Staff Reporter - February 27, 2020

Cape Town: David Warner and Aaron Finch struck quick-fire fifties as Australia romped to a comprehensive 97-run victory over South Africa in the third and final T20I at Newlands in Cape Town on Wednesday.

South Africa was never in the chase, losing wickets at regular intervals. Mitchell Starc and Ashton Agar picked three each to raze the host’s much vaunted batting line-up. Quinton de Kock was the first to go, losing his stumps to a good length ball from Starc. Du Plessis followed suit, Zampa completing a fine catch off Starc’s bowling.

Rassie van der Dussen and Heinrich Klaasen played some attractive strokes but only delayed the inevitable as the Proteas folded for 96 to cede the three-match T20I series 2-1.

Earlier, Warner and Finch launched a brutal assault on the South African bowlers as Australia piled up 193 for five.

With the series locked at 1-1, Australian captain Finch said he was happy to bat first after South Africa won the toss and sent the tourist in.

He showed why as he and the left-handed Warner thrashed 75 runs off the six-over power play on the way to an opening partnership of 120 off 74 balls. Warner hit 57 and Finch 55. Both faced 37 balls.

Both batsmen were out in successive overs and South Africa did a reasonable job of pulling the scoring rate back on a dry pitch.

But a no-ball which reprieved former captain Steve Smith proved expensive. Smith was bowled by Kagiso Rabada at the start of the 19th over but replays showed Rabada had over-stepped.

Smith took advantage by hitting 20 runs off the last over bowled by Anrich Nortje, including two sixes, to finish on 30 not out. It was the first time Warner and Smith had played at Newlands since both were banned for a year after a ball-tampering scandal at the same ground two years ago.

But in the general hubbub of a hectic 20-overs game neither player appeared to be targeted by a capacity crowd.

By Staff Reporter

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