Australia vs South Africa 2nd T20: Faulkner and Finch help Australia level series

Faulkner dismissed Rossouw, Miller and Duminy

Faulkner dismissed Rossouw, Miller and Duminy

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Australia all-rounder James Faulkner picked up three wickets and captain Aaron Finch hammered an unbeaten 44 to not only crush South Africa by seven wickets, but also help their side level the series at 1-1.

However, South Africa skipper Jean Paul (JP) Duminy deserves some credit as he walloped a valiant 49.

Duminy would have regretting his decision to bat first as it only took two balls for Australia left-arm pace bowler Doug Bollinger to dismiss opening batsman Quinton de Kock for a duck.

Rilee Rossouw scored 12 runs before he was caught and bowled by Faulkner.

Just when South Africa looked like they were about to bounce back from their two early losses, Reeza Hendricks was stumped by Ben Dunk off the bowling of Cameron Boyce for 18.

Farhaan Behardien failed to have an impact with the bat as he was also stumped by Dunk off the bowling of Boyce for five runs.

David Miller fared no better as he was caught by Pat Cummins off the bowling of Faulkner for 11 runs.

Ryan McLaren mustered one run before he was caught by Faulkner at fine leg off the bowling of Cummins.

Duminy was South Africa’s top-scorer with 49 runs, which came off 51 balls and included three boundaries and a six, before he was caught by Finch at long-off to become Faulkner’s third victim of the match.

Duminy's gutsy knock of 49 went in vain

Duminy’s gutsy knock of 49 went in vain

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Thanks to Duminy’s efforts with the bat, South Africa managed to crawl their way 101/7 off their 20 overs.

Faulkner was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Boyce snapped up two and Cummins and Bollinger chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Boyce was named Man of the Match for his spectacular figures of 2-15 off four overs

Boyce was named Man of the Match for his spectacular figures of 2-15 off four overs

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Chasing 102 to win, Australia got off to a solid start as Dunk and Finch amassed a 43-run partnership before Dunk was caught by Kyle Abbott at mid-on off the bowling of Wayne Parnell for 23.

Finch and Shane Watson kept the runs flowing with a 49-run partnership before Watson was caught by Abbott at mid-off off the bowling of Parnell for 30 runs.

Glenn Maxwell failed to trouble the scorers as he was caught by Rossouw at backward point to give Kagiso Rabada his first Twenty20 International wicket.

Despite the late flurry of wickets, Finch kept his cool and led his side to a comfortable seven wicket win.

The Australian captain ended up scoring 44 off 30 balls, which included eight boundaries.

Finch smashed eight boundaries during his entertaining innings of 44

Finch smashed eight boundaries during his entertaining innings of 44

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Parnell was the most successful bowler with two wickets, while Rabada claimed one.

Duminy admitted that his side were simply “outplayed”, and said: “We were outplayed in all forms today, there’s a lot of learning [to be done]. We know we need to come up with something to come back on Sunday. These things are good for youngsters, winning and losing, so we need to take a lot out of today. I was happy batting first but they blew us away. Every time we started building partnerships they took wickets, so it was difficult for us.”

Finch was ecstatic to have levelled the series at 1-1, and said: “It’s a special place to play cricket at any time, especially representing Australia. I stayed at home last night, didn’t say anything [to the players], so that might have been it. The bowlers were outstanding, we blew them away. The MCG isn’t known for spinners so Cameron Boyce deserved his award. We bowled the off-spinner to their left-handers, just trying something out. It was nice to get some runs and a bit of red ink.”

In a rather surprising move, Boyce was named Man of the Match, and said: “When you get a rap from Warnie, that’s nice. The other boys bowled really well, Paddy and Jimmy Faulkner especially, and that makes my job a bit easier. I won’t get too far ahead of myself, I try and bowl well every game and hopefully that stuff [ODI selection] will take care of itself. I’m looking forward to Sydney since the series is on the line and both teams want to win.”

Leave a Reply