Australia delivered another clinical bowling performance on Wednesday evening as they won the third and final T20I against South Africa at Newlands by 97 runs, writes ANDRE HUISAMEN.
The series squared at 1-1, it was all to play for at Cape Town with the Proteas desperate for a win.
But, another poor effort with the bat had Australia claim a comfortable victory to cruise to a series win.
Quinton de Kock won the toss at the start of play and opted to bowl first on a rather dry Newlands pitch.
It was a decision that suited Australian openers Aaron Finch and David Warner, who flew out of the blocks.
The pair put away any loose deliveries by the Proteas bowlers and raced to 114-0 after ten overs. Tight bowling by the home side brought the run rate down a bit as Australia finished on 193-5 at the end of their 20 overs.
Chasing a massive 194, the Proteas run chase got off to a terrible start when Mitchell Starc clean bowled De Kock for five in almost a carbon-copy dismissal from Friday night at the Wanderers.
Faf du Plessis’ struggles with the bat continued when Starc also got rid of him for only five.
Rassie van der Dussen, who opened the batting with De Kock, and Heinrich Klaasen did well to make a recovery to the innings as they steered the Proteas to 50-2 after six overs.
But, Adam Zampa picked up Australia’s third wicket when Klaasen made a horrible mess of an attempted reverse sweep, only to have his stumps shattered for 22.
And, Ashton Agar removed Van der Dussen in the next over when the right-hander tried to scoop the ball over his head, but instead found Zampa, who took a good diving catch.
It went from bad to worse for the home side when Zampa knocked Pite van Biljon over for only one as the Proteas reached 65-5 at the halfway mark.
The Proteas middle order yet again were left with a mountain to climb as Australia closed in on victory.
David Miller and Dwaine Pretorius didn’t last long, either, as Pat Cummins and Mitchell Marsh got in on the wickets.
Agar turned on the style once again by dismissing Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi in successive deliveries and it was all over when Starc trapped Kagiso Rabada in front a few moments later as South Africa were bowled out for 96.
South Africa: Quinton de Kock (c; wk), Rassie van der Dussen, Faf du Plessis, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Pite van Biljon, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi.
Australia: Aaron Finch (wk), David Warner, Steve Smith, Mathew Wade, Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey, Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa.
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