Bilateral series

Australia comprehensive win 2nd T20 against South Africa lead them to win the series

Australian cricket team also emerged as victorious in the 2nd T20I series against South African cricket team in Durban. They defended a total of 226 runs in the first T20I and comfortably chased down 165 in the second match with over five overs to spare, highlighting their superior depth compared to their South African counterparts.

Australia’s new captain, Mitchell Marsh, stood out as the star player in both fixtures, maintaining an unbeaten record in this series. He followed up his remarkable unbeaten 92 with a score of 76 not out during the chase in the second game, forming a century partnership with Matthew Short. This showcased the inconsistencies in the South African bowling attack, which were exposed for the second consecutive match.

South Africa’s most experienced bowler, Lungi Ngidi, has conceded the most runs in the series thus far, and his variations have not posed a significant threat. Additionally, the backup seam bowlers have struggled with discipline. In contrast, Australia’s pace attack performed impressively and maintained control over South Africa for most of the innings.

Sean Abbott conceded runs at an economy rate of 5.50, while Nathan Ellis and Jason Behrendorff conceded runs at 6.25, making it difficult for South Africa to score runs early in their innings. A 51-run partnership for the fifth wicket between Tristan Stubbs and Aiden Markram stabilized South Africa’s innings during the middle overs. However, a 41-run partnership between Markram and Gerald Coetzee provided some late impetus, but given Australia’s strong batting performance, it was never going to be enough.

Australia gained the upper hand in the powerplay, with Temba Bavuma scoring an aggressive 17-ball 35 in the first three overs before being dismissed. Abbott had a chance to remove Rassie van der Dussen in the same over, but Marsh decided against reviewing the decision, believing it was too high.

Australia didn’t have to wait long to dismiss the South African No.3. In the next over, van der Dussen was adjudged lbw to Behrendorff after a review confirmed that the ball would have hit the middle and off stumps. Nathan Ellis then took center stage, finishing the powerplay with a double-wicket maiden over. He tested Reeza Hendricks with a full and a shorter delivery before trapping him lbw with a length ball that hit him below the knee roll. Ellis followed up with Dewald Brevis, inducing an edge that was caught behind. Although he narrowly missed a hat-trick, South Africa went from 36 without loss to 46 for 4 in just 18 balls.

Starting the 15th over at 115 for 6, South Africa needed a strong finish to reach a competitive total, and it was their captain, Markram, who stepped up. He began the final five overs with an 80-meter helicopter shot over long-on and continued to score boundaries. Markram converted a run-a-ball 25 into a 38-ball 49, providing South Africa with a decent total to defend.

In an interesting turn of events, Markram, who did not bowl in the opening match, took the new ball this time. He managed to keep Australia’s openers in check initially, conceding only a single in the first over. However, he continued to bowl for one over too many, and Travis Head seized the opportunity to hit three fours off his second over, putting Australia back on track.

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