South Africa v Australia Second T20I
Sunday March 6, 11:30pm
After a hard-fought win in Durban South Africa will be looking to wrap up the series when they take on Australia in the second T20 at the New Wanderers Stadium on Sunday.
The hosts went one-nil up with a tense three-wicket win at Kingsmead off the back of three wickets from Imran Tahir and a superbly-judged 53 not out from David Miller. After Australia got off to a fast start it was the combination of Tahir and all-rounder David Wiese who pegged the Aussies back, claiming a combined 5/37 off eight overs. The Proteas chase was led by captain Faf du Plessis (40 off 26) before Miller added to his bourgeoning reputation as a high-class finisher in this format with his unbeaten 53 coming off only 35 balls and steering South Africa home. A fit-again Dale Steyn was surprisingly left out in Durban and will push for inclusion here while the recalled Quinton de Kock will be hoping for his first ever T20I half-century in order to stave off the challenge of Hashim Amla at the top of the order.
For the Australians it was a familiar story as another great start inside the opening overs with both bat and ball still translated to their fifth consecutive loss in this format. Despite losing Usman Khawaja early, Aaron Finch and David Warner blasted 69 off the powerplay before Tahir and Wiese applied the stranglehold. Some late hitting from Mitch Marsh got the visitors to a competitive total of 9/157 and despite the Proteas limping to 6/95 in reply, Miller’s innings was enough to get the hosts over the line with four balls to spare. Nathan Coulter-Nile made an encouraging comeback from injury for Australia, taking 3/29 including a first-ball dismissal of AB de Villiers. After being surprisingly omitted at Kingsmead, all-rounders Shane Watson and James Faulkner are set to come into the side with Andrew Tye likely to be one player to make way after conceding 40 off 3.2 overs.
The New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg has been a fruitful venue for the Proteas who have won eight of the past ten T20Is at the ground. Like Kingsmead, the side batting second also has an impressive record here, winning 57% of T20Is with scores of 171 and 231 chased down in the last two games here.
Key Stats Summary
- South Africa have now won nine of their last ten T20Is, including six of their last seven batting second.
- South Africa have won eight of their past ten T20Is at New Wanderers.
- Australia have lost nine of their last 13 T20Is, including their last five straight.
- Australia have lost all four T20Is they have played at New Wanderers.
South Africa’s opening win ensures they retain favouritism for game two, although once again the market is suggesting the gap between both sides is not so great. However Australia are clearly a team in a slump and still have little clarity over what their best XI is. Conversely the hosts are on a hot streak and continue to win even without significant contributions from superstars AB de Villiers and Dale Steyn, the latter of which should return to further bolster the side on Sunday. Therefore I’m happy to back the Proteas to continue their winning sequence at the current prices and consign the Aussies to more misery.
Additionally Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis has not only led his side astutely but been a picture of consistency with the bat, averaging almost 40 in this format overall and 51.29 since the start of last year. du Plessis has top-scored in four of his past ten T20I innings, including a wonderful century at this ground against the West Indies so look to back him to top-score here again.