Batsman Rilee Rossouw cherished the Man of the Match award, as South Africa beat Australia by seven wickets in Wednesday’s first Twenty20 International at the Adelaide Oval.
Rossouw struck a brisk 78 in a victorious pursuit of a testing 145-run target. The entertaining vigil, which featured seven fours and three sixes and spanned a mere 50 deliveries, weighed in as the fourth-highest score by a T20I debutant.
The 25-year-old Rossouw shared an impressive 129-run partnership inside 15 overs alongside fellow left-hander Quinton de Kock before perishing on the pull to fast bowler Pat Cummins.
‘I stuck in there, kept my confidence high. I was hitting it well, and thankfully it came right here. You have to be on top of your game. There are plenty of top cricketers in this game – and you have to be at your best,’ said Rossouw.
‘It is nice batting with Quinton, he takes the pressure off. Every chance I get, I want to shine. This was my day, I’m very happy. I just want to keep going for the rest of the series.’
Captain JP Duminy lauded an outstanding performance from the Proteas seamers. Right-armer Kyle Abbott was the pick of the attack en route to telling figures of three for 21 in four overs. Left-armers Wayne Parnell and Kagiso Rabada, too, contributed to the restriction of the Aussies to an insufficient 144 for six.
‘It’s great to see the youngsters come through. The positivity they played with was great to watch. The exuberance of youth – not much thinking goes on, just playing. I thought the execution of the bowling was great, the way we stuck to our plans was awesome to see. The guys dug in with a lot of good yorkers,’ added Duminy.
The second T20I will be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday, followed by the third and final fixture of the series on Sunday. Five ODIs will follow.