Australia players celebrate after Ashton Agar gets the wicket of Rassie van der Dussen. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix
Australia players celebrate after Ashton Agar gets the wicket of Rassie van der Dussen. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Proteas crash to another humiliating defeat to Australia

By Zaahier Adams Time of article published Feb 26, 2020

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Third T20 International

Australia: 193/5 (Warner 57, Finch 55, Smith 30, Shamsi 1/25)

South Africa: 96 all out (Van der Dussen 24, Klaasen 22, Agar 3/16, Starc 3/23)

Australia won by 97 runs

Another series decider. Another defeat for the Proteas. At some stage Quinton de Kock’s team will have to learn from their mistakes if they are to at least be competitive at the ICC T20 World Cup later this year.

The fundamental element holding this team back is their over dependence on captain De Kock. The skipper suffered a rare failure under the Newlands lights on Wednesday evening when Mitchell Starc (3/23) produced a similar beauty to his Wanderers gem and South Africa’s pursuit of the 194 required for victory was virtually over after just four balls of their innings.

In the first T20I in Johannesburg South Africa slumped to a record 107-run defeat when De Kock had an early shower. Here at Newlands, the margin was a similar 97 runs after the remaining Proteas batsmen could only muster 96 all out collectively.

The complete lack of form of the remaining batsmen is a headache the size of Table Mountain for Proteas coach Mark Boucher. It was the albatross around the Proteas’ neck during the disappointing Test series against England when no South African batsmen managed a century across the four matches.

The change of format and switch to coloured clothing has made no difference. The embarrassment has simply taken on another form. An inquiry has to be launched with Cricket SA’s acting director of cricket Graeme Smith tasked with identifying the flaws that are currently permeating through the game at all levels.

The national team cannot continue to produce performances where the top score is Rassie van der Dussen’s 24 and Heinrich Klaasen’s 22. Apart from the duo’s contribution, there were only two batsmen – David Miller and Dwaine Pretorius – managed double figures. The sell-out crowd that had come out on a chilly Cape Town evening deserved better than watching Ashton Agar (3/16) toy with the South African batsmen.

They already had to endure Australia’s batting unit lash the home team’s bowlers to all parts during the early part of the evening. The visitors’ opening pair of David Warner (57 off 37 balls) and Aaron Finch (55 off 35 balls) set the tone with a blistering 120-run stand in just 11.3 overs.

It was batting from heaven with both players scoring freely both sides of the wicket without taking any undue risks. They simply played positively and aggressively, despatching anything short or full to the boundary. South Africa’s woeful batting unit would be well advised to watch the replay of the Australia’s start just to see how easily runs can be scored.

At that stage the damage could have been much worse, but once again Proteas wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi (1/25) halted the flow of runs with another impressive performance.

Considering Shamsi’s success in this series it is baffling that the team management have failed to utilise left-arm spinner Bjorn Fortuin’s skills during this series, particularly due to his success ratio in the Powerplay.

The bowling unit were not faultless either. The lack of discipline remains an issue with Kagiso Rabada once again clean bowling an opposition batsman – only the umpire to call him back due to Rabada over-stepping the front line.

Such mischief is criminal at a World Cup and South Africa will need to address these misdemeanours when they head to the West Indies in July for a five-match series.

Australia, though, have been dominant in this T20I series – bar a few overs in Port Elizabeth – and can look back at their return to the land of their lowest point with new-found redemption. 


IOL Sport

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