Aston Agar took a hat-trick as the Australian bowlers ripped through the Proteas’ batting lineup to claim a huge 107-run victory in the first T20I at the Wanderers on Friday.
Quinton de Kock’s decision to bowl first after winning the toss quickly backfired as his bowlers failed to execute their plan, making it extremely easy for Australia to score freely.
12 wides in total, backed up by wide and short pitched deliveries were sent to the boundary with the greatest of ease as Australia reached 196-6 in their 20 overeats, despite not having to do an awful lot with the bat.
The Proteas chase got off to the worst possible when Mitchell Starc knocked over De Kock’s stumps with a beautiful delivery in the first over.
Starc’s swing bowling early on proved how badly the Proteas bowlers got their line wrong in the first innings as he pressured the batsmen into their crease by attacking the stumps.
Rassie van der Dussen, who opened the batting in place of the injured Temba Bavuma, struggled to settle at the crease and departed for 6 when he skied Put Cummins down to third-man where Starc took a good catch.
Jon-Jon Smuts and David Miller came in and departed fairly quickly as they fell victim to Cummins and Adam Zampa.
The Aussie bowlers were brilliant in their approach and hit the perfectly line and length, which made it really difficult for the Proteas to score.
But the game was all but secured for the visitors when spinner Ashton Agar took a historic hat-trick in his first over by dismissing Faf du Plessis, Andile Phehlukwayo and Dale Steyn in three deliveries as the Proteas slumped to 44-7 and staring down a massive defeat.
Kagiso Rabada and debutant Pite van Biljon tried to offer some form of resistance but Agar removed the latter and then Lungi Ngidi to reach five wickets as Australia claimed a big win.
South Africa: Quinton de Kock (c, wk), Rassie van der Dussen, Faf du Plessis, JJ Smuts, David Miller, Pite van Biljon, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi
Australia: Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade, Mitch Marsh, Alex Carey, Ashton Agar, Patrick Cummins, Mitch Starc, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa
Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix