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  Australia clinch last-ball thriller

Australia clinch last-ball thriller

AFP
Published : Mar 7, 2016, 1:53 am IST
Updated : Mar 7, 2016, 1:53 am IST

Australia’s Glenn Maxwell (left) congratulates teammate David Warner on reaching his half century in the second T20 against Australia in Johannesburg on Sunday. — AP

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Australia’s Glenn Maxwell (left) congratulates teammate David Warner on reaching his half century in the second T20 against Australia in Johannesburg on Sunday. — AP

A record partnership between David Warner and Glenn Maxwell spurred Australia to a last-ball victory in the second Twenty20 international against South Africa at the Wanderers Stadium on Sunday.

 

Australia’s win by five wickets levelled the three-match series to set up a decider in Cape Town on Wednesday. Set a daunting 205 to win, Australia were in deep trouble at 32/3 after 5.4 overs.

But Warner (77) and Maxwell (75) thrashed the bowlers in a world record fourth wicket stand of 161 off 87 balls.

“They batted with great composure and played some great cricket shots,” said Australian captain Steve Smith.

“They summed up the situation really well.”

South African captain Faf du Plessis admitted: “That partnership blew us away.”

Du Plessis added: “There are small margins when two teams are playing good cricket. There were one or two things in the field that we could have done better. Two full tosses towards the end cost us.”

 

Both full tosses, by Chris Morris and Dale Steyn, were called no-balls, giving the batsmen free hits.

There was a twist in the tail, though, as Maxwell was caught off the fifth ball of the 19th over and Warner was yorked by Kagiso Rabada off the first ball of the final over. James Faulkner and Mitchell Marsh got their side home to set up a series decider.

Two runs were needed off the last ball and Marsh was able to hit the ball past Rabada for the winning runs.

Man of the match Warner made 77 off 40 balls with six fours and five sixes, while Maxwell’s career-best 75 was scored off 43 balls with seven fours and three sixes.

Du Plessis anchored an aggressive South African batting performance, hitting 79 off 41 balls.

 

Scores: South Africa 204/7 in 20 overs (Q. De Kock 44, F. Du Plessis 79, D. Miller 33; Hastings 2/42, Faulkner 3/28) lost to Australia 205/5 in 20 overs (D. Warner 77, G. Maxwell 75; Rabada 2/25, Steyn 2/32)

Location: South Africa, Gauteng, Johannesburg