South Africa have taken the opening Twenty20 International match at the re-developed Adelaide Oval against Australia on Wednesday night in front of a full-house.
Australia won the toss and elected to bat first, scoring a meagre 6/144 from their 20 overs. Proteas debutante Rilee Rossouw steered the visitors to victory with a superb 78 runs from 50 balls, including 7 boundaries and 3 sixes.
Captain Aaron Finch was caught at short-cover by man-of-the-match Rossouw off the bowling of McLaren for 14(11) after struggling to find the middle early in his innings.
Cameron White followed soon after, caught well by Fahan in front of point and the Aussies were 2/43 after 6 overs. The South African fielder jumped high off the ground to remove the dangerous batsman who was starting to heat up.
Another crisp catch from the visitors removed Twenty20 debutante Ben Dunk for 2(6). South African Captain J.P. Duminy led from the front with some clever field placements throughout the match and demonstrated his own skills in catching the blasted shot in close at cover.
The innings began to take shape when returning all-rounder Shane Watson was joined by James Faulkner. Taking a little time to get in, Faulkner soon started to hit out. With a mixture of luck and solid hitting, the pair added 50 runs from 35 balls.
Watson’s return innings included 3 sixes, but was done on 47 after he creamed it straight to J.P Duminy at cover.
“Me and Jimmy had to try and make the most of these last few overs,” Watson commented after leaving the field and discussing his dismissal.
The Aussies struggled against some accurate and tight bowling at the death. South African paceman Kyle Abbott (3/21) threw down regular wide-yorkers and varied his length, making it extremely difficult for the home team.
“It’s a really nice pitch, [after the redevelopments] it’s a bigger ground than you think,” commented Cameron White between innings.
“We lost a bit of momentum there and we have come up a little short,” said White.
Doug Bollinger got Australia off to the perfect start. He took one wicket for one run in the opening over, when South African opener Reeza Hendricks edged behind and was caught well down to the right by new man Dunk.
Bollinger nearly had another wicket in his next over, but Nathan Reardon couldn’t mit a high ball in close. Rossouw was the batsman and he made the Aussies pay for the error.
Combining with de Kock (46), the two batted for 14 overs bringing up their 100-run partnership from 66 balls. Rossouw holed out (2/129) off the bowling of returning Aussie paceman Pat Cummins (1/21).
The Aussies were boosted with the wicket of de Kock the very next ball. Caught by White from the bowling of Cameron Boyce, but this would proove to be the final wicket of the match.
The Proteas took a 1-0 series lead after ambling to the total with an over to spare.
“I thought the wicket was pretty bloody good, you don’t get too many wickets like that around,” was the reflection of the Aussie captain Aaron Finch in the post match interview.
The Aussies will hope to square the three-match T20 series at the MCG on Friday night.