Rilee Rossouw and Quinton de Kock followed up the bowlers’ good work and steered South Africa home in the first T20 against Australia at Adelaide. Chasing a modest total of 145 at a flat Adelaide Oval wicket, South Africa never seemed to be in trouble as they chased down the total with 6 balls to spare and 7 wickets in hand. Nathan Reardon misread a catch off Rossouw’s bat when he was in his single digits and that changed the entire complexion of the match. This is JP Duminy’s first International match as captain and he started it on the right note.
Doug Bollinger, who is back in the Aussie line-up after a long time produced a beauty to get rid of debutant South African opener Reeza Hendricks for a second ball duck. Since then, it was the Proteas all the way as Rossouw cut loose against the bowlers. He started to make use of the early field restrictions and got off to a flier. He showed the Aussie bowlers no mercy as he along with De Kock stamped their authority on the bowlers. None of the bowlers were spared as Rossouw smashed them all over the ground to reach fifty on his T20 debut.
De Kock kept the scorecard ticking and gave the strike to the aggressor before cutting loose when the Proteas needed less than 50 runs to win. Roussouw hammered 7 fours and 3 sixes in his 50 ball 78 and shared a 129 run partnership with de Kock who scored 39 ball 46 with the help of 4 fours and a six before the former got out skiing a catch to Ben Cutting at mid-on. De Kock too followed Rosouw two balls later when he got to Cameron Boyce.
When everything well set for the Chokers to choke again, skipper Duminy and David Miller carried the visitors’ home. Pat Cummins was the pick of the bowler for Australia with a figures of 1-21 in four overs.
After choosing to bat first earlier in the day, Australia were completely outplayed by the South African bowlers as they pitched in with wickets at regular intervals. Shane Watson and James Faulkner took Australia to a decent total with knocks of 47 and 41* respectively. Kyle Abbott was the destructor in chief with figures of 3-21 in 4 overs.
Rilee Rossouw has been named as the Man of the Match.
Brief Scores: Australia 144-6 in 20 overs (Watson 47, Faulkner 41*, Abbott 3-21) lost to South Africa 148-3 in 19 overs (Rossouw 78, De Kock, Cummins 1-21) by 7 wickets.
Image Courtesy: ESPNCricinfo