Cameron White led Australia to a two-wicket series-winning victory over the Proteas in the third T20I in Sydney on Sunday. The winning run came off the second last ball.
After a blistering start, South Africa had fallen away to post 145-6 in their 20 overs. It looked as if north of 180 was on the cards, but when Quinton de Kock departed for a brisk 48 off 27 balls, the momentum was never recovered.
The wicket was a bit two-paced and the dimensions of the ground are unusual. For that reason, the Proteas started their defence of 145 full of confidence. But Aaron Finch got his team out of the blocks quickly, scoring 33 off 25 balls.
The two new men in the South African line-up, Robin Peterson and David Wiese, pulled the Proteas back into the contest. The left-arm spinner returned figures of 3-28 in his four overs, while the Titans all-rounder finished with 3-21 off four overs.
Despite the regular fall of wickets, Cameron White saw the Australians home to a two-wicket victory with one ball to spare. The veteran’s unbeaten 31-ball 41 not only sealed the match for Australia, but also the three-match T20I series. It was a fine comeback from the hosts after being comprehensively outplayed in the opening encounter in Adelaide.
Earlier, the Proteas opening pair managed to survive the first over for the first time in the series, and kicked on to score 53 without loss in the powerplay. De Kock was the aggressor before being strangled down the leg-side for a 27-ball 48.
Reeza Hendricks used up 48 balls in getting 49, which wasn’t really quick enough considering the very short straight boundaries. Rilee Rossouw, Farhaan Behardien, JP Duminy and Wiese all fell cheaply, attempting to lift the scoring rate.
South Africa can be pleased with two aspects, though. The first is that David Miller spent some valuable time in the middle, finishing unbeaten on 34 off 26 deliveries. His contribution got the score up to something that the bowlers had a chance of defending, although it was always a few runs too short given the start.