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T20 World Cup 2021, Australia vs South Africa (Super 12): Australia pulls off a final-over thriller

The Super 12s of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 has gotten underway from Saturday. The opening game of Group 1 between Australia and South Africa in Abu Dhabi saw the former triumph.

ICC T20 World Cup 2021, Australia vs South Africa (Group 1, Super 12): Report, result, winner-ayh
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Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates, First Published Oct 23, 2021, 7:24 PM IST
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It was a thrilling encounter between former champion Australia and South Africa in the Group 1 Super 12 clash of the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Saturday. Australia notched up a five-wicket win with just a couple of balls to spare.

Winning the toss, Australian skipper Aaron Finch opted to bowl. South Africa was off to a panicky start, losing openers Temba Bavuma (12) and Quinton de Kock (7), along with Rassie van der Dussen (2) within the fifth over of the Powerplay, with just 23 runs on the board. Heinrich Klaasen (13) was the next to fall in the eighth to pacer Pat Cummins, 23 runs later.

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However, it was followed by a 34-run stand between Aiden Markram (40) and David Miller (16). The latter was dismissed by spinner Adam Zampa in the 14th, at 80, followed by Dwayne Pretorius (1) in the same over, just a couple of runs later. The incoming batters could hardly add anything, as South Africa finished at 118/9, while Markram was removed in the 18th by seamer Mitchell Starc.

Australia put five bowlers into the attack, with Starc and Zampa, along with pacer Josh Hazlewood claiming a couple each, while Cummins was highly economical. In reply, Australia was off to a slow start as well, losing openers David Warner (14) and Finch (0) within the fifth over of the PP.

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All-rounder Mitchell Marsh (11) fell to spinner Keshav Maharaj in the eighth, 18 runs later, it was followed by a healthy 42-run partnership between Steven Smith (35) and Glenn Maxwell (18) before the latter was sent back by pacer Anrich Nortje in the 15th, at 80. A run later, Maxwell was knocked over by spinner Tabraiz Shamsi in the next over.

The South African pacers bowled tight and took the game into the final over, with eight needed. Nevertheless, Marcus Stoinis (24*) and Matthew Wade (15) sealed the win by five wickets, with a couple of balls to spare. Five bowlers were utilised by the Proteas, with Nortje claiming two, while he was also the most economical from the side.
Brief scores: South Africa 118/9 (Markram- 40; Hazlewood- 2/19) lost to Australia 121/5 in 19.4 overs (Smith- 35; Nortje- 2/21) by five wickets.

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