Sunday, 5 December, 2021
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Australia survive SA scare

Australia survive SA scare
Australia’s Marcus Stoinis celebrates after scoring the winning runs during the ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup match against South Africa at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Saturday. – AFP PHOTO

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Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade stood unbeaten to help Australia prevail in a tense finish against South Africa and win by five wickets in the Twenty20 World Cup on Saturday.

Chasing a modest 119 for victory, Australia were in trouble at 81-5 after Steve Smith, who scored 35, and Glenn Maxwell, who made 18, departed.

Stoinis, who made 24, stood firm and put on an unbeaten stand of 40 with the left-handed Wade, who made 15. Stoinis hit the winning boundary to take Australia over the line with two balls to spare.

"The dugout was probably a bit more relaxed than I was," said skipper Aaron Finch.

"Stoinis and Wade kept their cool there. It's what experience can do. Maxwell did a really good job."

Anrich Nortje took two wickets including Finch, for nought, and Smith to return figures of 2-21.

Tabraiz Shamsi dismissed Maxwell as the batsman's attempted reverse hit ended with the ball crashing into the stumps.

Kagiso Rabada struck early to get David Warner trudging back to the pavilion for 14. Spinner Keshav Maharaj also chipped in with a wicket.

Earlier, pace bowler Josh Hazlewood took 2-19 to help limit South Africa to 118-9 after the Aussies elected to bowl first.

Number four Aiden Markram played a lone hand with his 40 off 36 deliveries before falling to Mitchell Starc.

Markram kept losing partners with Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller departing for 13 and 16.

Leg spinner Adam Zampa struck twice in one over and a big mid-pitch mix up led to Maharaj being run out for nought.

Rabada hit an unbeaten cameo of 19 off 23 balls to take the Proteas past 100.

"We just didn't get enough with the bat and it was always going to be tough for the bowlers, and it was a good effort from them to get it to this stage," said skipper Temba Bavuma.