Kyle Abbott and Rilee Rossouw set up a comfortable seven-wicket win for South Africa in the first T20I against Australia in Adelaide on Wednesday.
In pursuit of 145, Reeza Hendricks fell for a duck before a run had been scored. Rilee Rossouw came to the wicket hoping that his debut would be better than the man he had just replaced. He experienced a shaky start, and was given a life, before settling and together with Quinton de Kock taking the score to 51-1 at the end of the powerplay.
Rossouw was the aggressor, bringing up his maiden half-century with a six, while De Kock curbed his natural game and milked the bowling from the other end. Rossouw fell for a 50-ball 78 with the finish line in site. JP Duminy came to the wicket with 16 runs required for victory in his first T20I as captain.
De Kock fell for 46 off 39 deliveries before Duminy had even faced a ball. David Miller walked to the crease and together with his captain took the team home with six balls to spare. The captain hit the winning runs, finishing on six, while his partner ended on nine.
Earlier, a disciplined bowling performance restricted the hosts to 144-6.
Aaron Finch won the toss. Electing to bat first, he strode to the wicket with Cameron White and got off to a good start, capitalising on the Proteas seamers bowling too short. The South Africans found their length after a few overs and ended the power play in a decent position at 43-2.
The spinners, Duminy and Imran Tahir, came on immediately after the fielding restrictions were relaxed. They rushed through a couple overs and started to impart some real pressure on the Australian batting line-up.
Shane Watson and James Faulkner put on 57 together and threatened to post a competitive total. However, Watson smashed a half-volley straight to cover while on 47 and walked off with the scoreboard reading 124-5 in the 18th over.
Wayne Parnell and Abbott were given the responsibility of bowling at the death and they did a really good job. Parnell finished with 1-28, while Abbott was the pick of the bowlers returning figures of 3-21 in four overs.
Apart from one drop catch in the first over of the match, South Africa’s fielding was top notch. They saved a lot of runs on the ground and took some really sharp chances. The energetic performance by a young Proteas unit played a massive part in restricting the hosts to 144-6 in their 20 overs.
Report compiled by Gareth Stevens.