The winning campaign of World Champion Australia has come to an end as they lost to South Africa in a low scoring match last night at the Province Stadium Guyana. F Behardien with his bat scoring 62 important runs K Rabada’s three wickets helped Proteas open their account in the Tri-Nation Series.
A bonus-point victory against Australia brought South Africa top on the table
Winning the toss South Africa elected to bat first. Opener Quinton de Cock and Hashim Amla gave an opening stand of 29 runs and partnership ended when Josh Hazlewood took the wicket of de Cock. He was out after scoring 18 runs off 23 balls. RR Rossouw came after first wicket down. The partnership between both of them doesn’t last much longer as Rossouw out for 7.
Then the skipper AB de Villiers himself came into bat. The partnership grew stronger when conceded 40 runs. After the drinks, Aussies got a breakthrough. De Villiers hit the ball towards short cover on Finch’s ball. Amla started running but AB does not move. As Smith did the game and collected the ball on the short cover and throw it towards Smith. He finally collected it well and Amla went scoring 35 runs off 81 balls.
After Amla’s wicket, AB got Duminy as their partner. But it was ephemeral and added only 16 runs. Aussie skipper brought Coulter-Nile into the attack and it did the trick and Coulter-Nile takes off stumps away of the Proteas skipper and he departs after scoring 22 runs.
Then F Behardien came into bat and scored 62 runs off 109 balls which proved crucial at the end of the game. Behardien has done a partnership with Phangiso for 37 runs and with Rabada 39 runs and take the team to a respected total of 189 runs.
From the bowling side
Hazelwood, Coulter-Nile and Glen Maxwell took the two wickets each and helped Australia to limit Proteas below 200. Chasing a very low total, Australia did not get a good start as opener Aaron Finch was gone when he only added one runs to his scorecard. His wicket was taken by Wayne Parnell.
Finch was there playing at the one end and the other end was losing wickets. Usman Khwaja and then Steve Smith were not impressive. Khwaja gone for 2 and Steve Smith was bowled out for 8 runs. Australia’s top order shattered except Aaron Finch’s fighting 72. Smith, David Warner, Usman Khawaja and Glenn Maxwell all fell cheaply as a shellshocked Australia crashed to 4-47.
The middle order of Australia also collapsed
Marsh and Wade were sent to the dugout frequently. M Marsh, Wade, Nathan Coulter-Nile and A Zampa later departed amid a slump of 4-18. Finch got the support of Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon at the end and they were the only Australian batsmen to reach double figures. Finch clubbed three sixes and could have played a match-winning innings if a got support from the other side.
Finch could have sent to pavilion very early when there was an opportunity to run out Finch zero and seven. Hashim Amla dropped a catch when the he was on 42. 29 runs stand was the highest partnership for Australia which was also by the tailenders Hazlewood and Lyon. The match was played on the same pitch where the host West Indies were out for 116 on, two days earlier.
Pacer Kagiso Rabada was the successful bowler for South African with three wickets. While Shamsi, Aaron Phangiso and Imran Tahir shared two wickets each. The contribution of Wayne Parnell can’t be neglected who steamrolled Australia’s top order David Warner and Steve Smith. The bonus-point victory placed South Africa at the top alongside Smith’s men. All the three teams have won one matches each and the tri-series now shifts to St Kitts.