T20 World Cup 2021: Australia begin their campaign with a win by defeating South Africa in a thrilling low-scoring match

Australia had a few nervous moments in the chase but thrashed South Africa by five wickets in a Group 1 match of the Super 12 of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium here on Saturday. With this win, Australia started their campaign in the tournament with a win, while South Africa took the match to the last over.

Chasing 119, Australia lost the opener Aaron Finch and David Warner in the power-play. While Finch caught the third man off Enrique Nortje, Warner pointed straight towards Kagiso Rabada. After the power-play, Mitchell Marsh is dismissed at deep mid-wicket off Keshav Maharaj.

Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell shared a 42-run partnership in the same number of balls for the fourth wicket. Both played risk-free cricket, rotated the strike and sent rare loose deliveries to the boundary. In the 13th over, a short ball from Maharaj, Smith made it over extra cover and was going in and out on the backfoot.

As the partnership looked to be building up, Aiden Markram took a brilliant running and diving catch from long-on to send Smith back to the pavilion. In the next over, Maxwell decided to go free with a switch hit but was clean bowled by Tabrez Shamsi.

In the 17th over, Matthew Wade hit two fours off Rabada, which included a dropped chance at mid-off by Markram. Marcus Stoinis patted the back of Nortje’s length delivery for four runs to put the nerves of the Australian camp at rest. Stoinis then sealed Australia’s victory with two balls to spare after a straight drive over deep mid-wicket off Pretorius in the final over.

Brief Scores: South Africa 118/9 in 20 overs (Aiden Markram 40, Kagiso Rabada 19 not out, Josh Hazlewood 2/19, Adam Zampa 2/21) lost to Australia 121/5 in 19.4 overs (Steve Smith 35, Marcus Stoinis 24 not out) ) , Enrique Nortje 2/21, Tabrez Shamsi 1/22) by five wickets

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