Australia coasted to a seven-wicket victory over the Proteas with 44 balls to spare at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday to square the three-match T20 International Series at 1-1.
The match was almost an exact microcosm of the previous match at Adelaide with the team that batted first never getting their innings off the ground and losing wickets at regular intervals which prevented any notable partnerships from being established.
Having said that, there was no reason to question JP Duminy’s decision to bat first. There was plenty of pace and bounce for the quicker men but it was still a very good batting surface on which a total somewhere between 160 and 170 would have been considered par.
Duminy (49 off 51 balls, three fours and a six) did his best to hold the innings together but the Proteas’ final total of 101 was pretty well undefendable.
The Australians bowled well in pairs with Doug Bollinger and James Faulkner each taking a wicket up front and then Cameron Boyce (2/15) and Patrick Cummins (1/11) dominating the middle overs as the Proteas managed only nine fours and a six in their innings.
Once Australia had posted 53/1 by the end of the power play overs there was no way for South Africa back into the match. The home captain, Aaron Finch, finished unbeaten on 44 (30 balls, 8 fours) while Wayne Parnell (2/17 in 3.4) was the pick of the Protea attack.
The series decider will be played at Stadium Australia in Sydney on Sunday (10.30am start).