Australia vs South Africa 3rd T20: Australia triumph in heart-racing decider

Australia celebrate after winning the series 2-1

Australia celebrate after winning the series 2-1

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Australia batsman Cameron White smashed an unbeaten 41 to help his side triumph over South Africa with one ball to spare in a heart-racing decider in Sydney.

White was well supported by all-rounder James Faulkner, who claimed three victims in his side’s two-wicket win.

However, South Africa’s opening duo of Quinton de Kock and Reeza Hendricks both deserve some credit as they scored 48 and 49 respectively.

Australia captain Aaron Finch would have been mulling over his decision to bowl first after de Kock and Hendricks amassed a 75-run partnership before de Kock was caught behind off the bowling of Pat Cummins.

De Kock’s solid knock of 48 came off 27 balls and included five boundaries and two sixes.

De Kock made a valiant 48

De Kock made a valiant 48

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Rilee Rossouw only made four run before he was caught by Sean Abbott at long-on off the bowling of Cameron Boyce.

Hendricks went on to score a career-best 49 off 48 deliveries, which included five boundaries, before he was clean bowled by Doug Bollinger.

Reeza's gutsy innings of 49 went in vain

Reeza’s gutsy innings of 49 went in vain

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Farhaan Behardien mustered one run before he was caught by Abbott at deep midwicket off the bowling of Faulkner.

South Africa skipper Jean paul (JP) Duminy failed to save his side as he was caught by Glenn Maxwell at wide long-on off the bowling of Faulkner for two runs.

Faulkner struck again just two balls later when David Wiese was caught behind for a golden duck.

Thanks to David Miller’s quickfire knock of 34, South Africa finished on 145/6 off their 20 overs.

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

Faulkner finished with figures of 3-28 off four overs

Faulkner finished with figures of 3-28 off four overs

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Chasing 146 to win, Australia got off to a solid start before Finch was caught by Marchant de Lange at short fine leg off the bowling of Wiese for 33.

Ben Dunk scored 14 runs before he was caught and bowled by Robin Peterson.

Nic Maddinson only made four runs before he was clean bowled by Wiese.

Shane Watson accumulated five runs before he was caught by Miller at extra cover off the bowling of Peterson.

Maxwell made a rapid 23 before he was caught by Wayne Parnell at deep midwicket off the bowling of Peterson.

Faulkner made nine runs before he was caught by Miller at long-on off the bowling of de Lange.

Cummins mustered three runs before he was brilliantly caught and bowled by Wiese.

Abbott hit five runs before he was given out lbw off the bowling of Kyle Abbott.

Needing two runs off three balls to win, Boyce took a single off the third-last ball of the match to make the scores level.

With one run separating his side from a 2-1 series win, White tried to smash the penultimate ball of the match to the boundary, but failed to connect properly. Despite this, he still managed to scurry through for a single to lead his side to victory.

White hammered four boundaries and a six during his game-winning knock of 41

White hammered four boundaries and a six during his game-winning knock of 41

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Wiese and Peterson took three wickets apiece, while Abbott and de Lange claimed one wicket each.

White was named Man of the Match, and said: “I got a little bit twitchy there. It was set up by the bowlers, chasing 140 should be pretty comfortable most times, we got there in the end. I thought we bowled really well at the back end, we used the conditions well and pressured them after a good start. It’s nice to be making runs, that’s my job, so hopefully I keep doing it.”

Faulkner was named Man of the Series, and said: “To say the least, it was very tense. I’ve been in that position before and I’ve stuffed it up – it was nerve-racking, Cam played really well. He’s pure class and it’s good to see him perform. [Boyce, Cummins progress] I’ve been impressed with him [Boyce] showcasing his skills in T20 and it’s exciting to see a leg-spinner doing well. Pat Cummins as well, bowling fast and taking wickets. We’re ready for the summer, hopefully we go well over the next few months, both personally and the team.”

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