An unbeaten 92 runs from Australia captain, Mitchell Marsh, proved to be the difference in the first T20 match on Wednesday night as the visitors breezed past an inexperienced Proteas T20 team at Kingsmead Stadium in Durban.
It was business as usual for Reeza Hendricks on Wednesday night as he looked positive upfront, but chasing a mammoth 227 runs to win the first T20I match, he needed a lot of assistance from the other batters for South Africa to have a chance.
🚨 RESULT | AUSTRALIA WIN BY 111 RUNS— Proteas Men (@ProteasMenCSA) August 30, 2023
Reeza Hendricks (56) fought hard to keep the team in the chase but ran out of partners as Australia take a 1-0 lead in the #KFCT20Iseries#SAvAUS #BePartOfIt pic.twitter.com/8IFYOYgmwV
Hendricks struck a crisp 56 off 43 and throughout the innings, the right-hander timed the ball to perfection while his batting counterparts struggled at the opposite end.
Back in the T20I side for the first time since the relinquishing captaincy role in the format, Temba Bavuma was knocked over by Marcus Stoinis for a duck in the very first over of the run-chase.
Coming in at three, Rassie van der Dussen looked good for his 11-ball 21 and hit a couple of big hits, but chasing such a big total, the team needed him to hang on a lot longer than he did.
Hendricks fought a lone fight because the other batters struggled when debutant Tanveer Sangha had ball in hand.
Sangha’s mystery spin was unknown to the Proteas batters and the 21-year-old caused the most damage to the Proteas top order with three wickets including that of captain Aiden Markram, Dewald Brevis and Tristan Stubbs.
Hendricks was the lone survivor for the home team up until he was joined by Marco Jansen at the crease, coming in at seven as a genuine all-rounder.
Jansen hung on long enough to see Hendricks reach a 14th career half-century and soon after he was on his way back to the pavilion having fallen victim to the leg-spin of Sangha (4/31 in 4 overs).
Stoinis (3/18), Spencer Johnson (2/33) and Sean Abott (1/17) wrapped the South African innings, secured a 111 runs victory for Australia and walked away with a one-nil lead in the series with two games left to play.
Earlier in the match, Australia stamped their authority over the South Africans and despite being sent in to bat first, they looked to attack and stayed positive.
Travis Head opened the Australian six account in the second ball of the match with a hit over point off the bowling of Marco Jansen.
Despite Head’s falling in the very next ball, in came the backbone of the Australian batting group in Marsh.
Marsh quickly switched gears and took Australia to 70-3 in the first powerplay.
Alongside Tim David (64 off 28), Marsh took the game further away from South Africa with a 97-runs partnership, taking the score from 77-4 when David came in to 174-5 when he got out.
Cameos from Aaron Hardie and Matthew Short took Australia’s total to a mammoth 226/6, a total that proved to far out of reach for the Proteas in the first match.
The second match will played at the same venue on Friday night.