6 October, Agency.
Australia have made a winning start to the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup. Australia beat South Africa by five wickets in the first match of Group A of the Super 12 of the T20 World Cup on Saturday.
Chasing a winning target of 119 for victory at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, Australia lost five wickets in 19.4 overs. Middle-order batsman Steve Smith top-scored for Australia with 35 off 34 balls with three fours. Matthew Wade remained unbeaten on 15 off 10 balls with two fours. Marcus Stoinis remained unbeaten on 24 off 16 balls with three fours. Glenn Maxwell, who played 21 balls, was bowled out for 18 runs with one four.
Fast bowler Enrich Norkia gave South Africa their first victory in the fifth ball of the second over when they caught opener and skipper Aaron Finch from Kagiso Rabada. In the third ball of the fifth over, Rabada caught another opener David Warner for 14 off Henrik Klaassen. Warner struck three fours in 15 balls.
After Keshav Maharaj caught Mitchell Marsh for 11 off Rossi van der Dussen, South Africa put pressure on Australia to reach the target. Glenn Maxwell and Steve Smith shared 42 runs off 42 balls for the fourth wicket. Smith was caught by Aden McCormum in the fifth ball of the 15th over, giving South Africa a significant lead. Australia were under some pressure after spinner Tabrez Shamsi bowled Maxwell in the second ball of the next over.
But wicketkeepers Matthew Wade and Marcus Stoinis shared an unbeaten 40-run stand for the sixth wicket to seal the victory. South Africa’s Enrich Norkia took the most 2 wickets for 21 runs in 4 overs. Kagiso Rabada, Tabrez Shamsi, Keshav Maharaj took 1-1 wickets.
Earlier, after losing the toss, South Africa lost 9 wickets in the allotted 20 overs and scored 118 runs. South Africa’s young batsman Aiden McCormack top-scored with 40 off 36 balls with three fours and a six. None of the other batsmen performed well. Kagiso Rabada remained unbeaten on 19 off 23 balls with one four and one six.
In the third ball of the second over, spin all-rounder Glenn Maxwell bowled captain Temba Babuma for 12 to give the team its first victory. South Africa were under pressure early on when fast bowler Josh Hazlewood caught key batsman Rossi van der Dussen off Matthew Wade for two off the first ball of his spell.
Hazelwood bowled opener Quinton de Kock for seven in the first ball of the fifth over to put South Africa in a weak position at 23-3. Another fast bowler, Pat Cummins, caught Henrik Klaassen for 13 off the last ball of the eighth over off Steve Smith. He struck two fours in 13 balls.
South Africa were in trouble after spinner Adam Jampa took two wickets in the 14th over. In the third ball, aggressive batsman and finisher David Miller was lbw out for 16 runs. Dwayne Pretius 1, Keshav Maharaj zero and Enrich Norkia were out for 2 runs.
Australian fast bowler Josh Hazlewood took 2 wickets for 19 runs in 4 overs with 1 maiden. Spinner Adam Jampa took 2 wickets for 21 runs in 4 overs. Mitchell Starc took 2 wickets, Pat Cummins and Glenn Maxwell took 1 wicket each.
South Africa will play their second match against the West Indies in Dubai on Tuesday and Australia will play Sri Lanka on Thursday.