South Africa vs Australia 3rd T20I: Preview and Prediction
South Africa will lock horns against Australia in the third as well as the last T20I match of the series on September 3 at the Kingsmead Stadium, Durban. After suffering consecutive losses against the Aussies in the two initial fixtures, the Proteas will be looking forward to ending the series on a good note and avoiding a whitewash.
What have they done so far?
Australia and South Africa played the first match of the series on August 30. The inaugural game of the series was played on the Kingsmead Stadium Cricket Ground in Durban as the hosts won the toss and decided to bowl first. Travis Head and Matthew Short were dismissed early in the innings by Marco Jensen and Lizaad Williams.
In addition to the initial dismissals, Josh Inglis and Marcus Stoinis also headed back to the pavilion early, leaving the Aussies 77/4. After Australia’s top order collapsed, Mitchell Marsh and Tim David took the responsibility to lead the team towards a winning total. Consequently, the Aussies managed to reach a massive total of 226 runs in the first T20I.
Chasing the target, South Africa’s former skipper, Temba Bavuma got dismissed for a duck by Stoinis. Reeza Hendricks and Rassie van der Dussen tried bringing up a partnership in pursuit of the mammoth total.
However, Australian leg spinner, Tanveer Sangha had other plans for the Proteas. Sangha took four wickets and annihilated the South African batting line-up as the Proteas collapsed on just 115 runs, losing the match by a whopping 111 runs.
In the second match of the series, Australia won the toss and they also decided to field first. Nathan Ellis, Sean Abbott, and Jason Behrendorff gave the Aussies a menacing start as they took the wickets of Hendricks, Bavuma, van der Dussen, and Dewald Brevis in the powerplay.
Aiden Markram and Tristan Stubbs somehow managed to build a decent partnership on the fifth wicket. The Proteas skipper scored 49 runs off 38 deliveries while Stubbs scored 27 runs off 20 balls. Hence, the South African side managed to post a respectable total of 164 runs against the Australian side.
As Australia came to bat, Lizaad Williams drew the first blood by sending Head back to the Pavilion on the powerplay when he was only at 18 runs. Despite losing an early wicket, skipper Marsh and Short comfortably sailed towards the win with half-centuries. Australia also won the second match and sealed the series.
Head to Head Record
South Africa and Australia have squared off against each other in the shortest format of international cricket for a total of 23 times. The Aussies have been dominant against the Proteas in T20Is as they have recorded 15 wins out of all the fixtures. On the other side, South Africa has managed to ace on 8 occasions and none of their matches have ended as a draw or no result.
Lizaad Williams (South Africa): The batting line-up of the Proteas has collapsed menacingly in front of the Kangaroos. Hence, the only thing that can help the drowning ship of South Africa is their bowling. Among all the bowlers, only Lizaad Williams has managed to shine.
He took three crucial wickets in the first match of the series and conceded a sum of 44 runs. Moreover, he also found success in the next match after he took the wicket of Travis Head. Hence, Williams has to give a reliable performance with an improved economy rate to help the South African side avoid an embarrassing whitewash on home soil.
Mitchell Marsh (Australia): Mitchell Marsh is currently in astounding form as he has smashed two unbeaten half-centuries in both matches. Coming to bat on the third spot, the Australian skipper is like an unbreakable stone in front of the South African bowling line-up.
In the first match, he scored 92 runs off 49 balls, where he smashed 13 boundaries and a couple of sixes. Moreover, in the second match, he hit 79 runs off only 39 deliveries with a strike rate of 202. If the Proteas want to secure a win against the mighty Australians before they step into the ODI series, they have to dismiss Marsh early, by hook or by crook.
South Africa: Temba Bavuma, Rassie van der Dussen, Reeza Hendricks, Aiden Markram ©, Tristan Stubbs (wk), Dewald Brevis, Marco Jansen, Lizaad Williams, Bjorn Fortuin, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi
Australia: Travis Head, Matthew Short, Mitchell Marsh ©, Josh Inglis (wk), Marcus Stoinis, Tim David, Aaron Hardie, Sean Abbott, Nathan Ellis, Tanveer Sangha, Jason Behrendorff
The South African team has the potential to defeat the visitors. However, the initial two losses will surely take a toll on their morale as well as mindset ahead of the last match of the T20I series. Fans can expect to see a close contest between the two sides but the Aussies will walk into the Kingsmead Stadium Cricket Ground as the favorites.