• Australia level T20 series

    South Africa were comprehensively outplayed in the second T20I in Melbourne as Australia secured a seven-wicket win on Friday.

    Winning the toss and batting first, South Africa stumbled to 101-7, with only captain JP Duminy offering resistance with a smart 49. The total was never going to be enough.

    Aaron Finch and Ben Dunk strode to the wicket full of confidence after the team’s impressive bowling performance. They both found the boundary with ease, taking the score to 43 in the fifth over before Dunk picked out mid-on. He departed for a 20-ball 23 with almost half the target already knocked off.

    Shane Watson stroked 30 off just 23 balls before being caught on the ring. He walked off with just 10 runs required for victory. Finch batted through, finishing on 44 off 30 balls and guided his side to a 7-wicket win with 7.2 overs remaining.

    There were a couple positive aspects for South Africa to take out of the innings. They fielded very well, never gave up and Wayne Parnell showed some good form. He returned figures of 2-17 off 3.4 overs, while the rest of the bowlers went the journey.

    Earlier, the South African innings didn’t go according to plan as Quinton de Kock was caught behind for a duck in the first over.

    Rilee Rossouw looked like he was going to pick up from where he left off in Adelaide, hitting three boundaries before offering a soft return catch to James Faulkner. He went for a bright and breezy 8-ball 12, leaving South Africa in the precarious position of 14-2 after two overs.

    Reeza Hendricks got off the mark in international cricket and laboured to a 22-ball 18 before being stumped while showing intent for the first time in his innings. Duminy held the innings together from the other end. He was joined by David Miller in the 13th over with the scoreboard reading 60-4. It was up to the two experienced members of the Proteas setup to post something for the bowlers to defend.

    Just when it looked as if the pair was about to cut loose, Miller found the man on the leg-side boundary to depart for 11. The wicket left South Africa on 90-5 after 17 overs. It was a scramble in the last few overs with all the batsmen trying their best to deposit the ball into the stands. Unfortunately, wickets continued to tumble as South Africa crawled to 101-7 at the end of their 20 overs.

    It was much better news for the Australian bowlers who all returned good figures. The two best bowlers, however, were Pat Cummins and Cameron Boyce. The leg-spinner took 2-15 in his four overs, while the big quick returned economical figures of 1-11 in his ration.

    Report compiled by Gareth Stevens

    Photo: Backpagepix

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