Australia 2-147 (Shane Watson 70, Michael Hussey 45*, Morne Morkel 1-23) beat South Africa 5-146 (Robin Peterson 32*, Farhaan Behardien 31*, Xavier Doherty 3-20) by eight wickets.
The awesome all round form of Shane Watson continued in the tournament as South Africa was trounced by Australia in an important match of the ICC World Twenty20.
South Africa scored 146 runs for the loss of five wickets in the required quota of 20 overs. Australia found no difficulty in chasing the required target after punching 147 runs with eight wickets in hand and 14 balls to spare.
Shane Watson (Australia) was declared ‘Player of the match’ for his dynamic all round performance in the game.
The 19th match of the ICC World Twenty20 was played on Sunday, September 30, 2012, at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo.
The Australian captain, George Bailey, won the toss and invited the Proteas to bat first. The wise decision of the Kangaroos skipper paid off instantly as Xavier Doherty clean bowled Richard Levi on the third ball of the first over. Doherty struck again on the first ball of the third over when Jacques Kallis was caught behind by the wicketkeeper Matthew Wade for six runs. The Australian rampage continued when they got rid of the supreme batsman of South Africa, Hashim Amla, for 17.
The Proteas were in hot waters after losing their three top batsmen for just 33 runs in 5.5 overs. Jean-Paul-Duminy and their captain, AB de Villiers put their heads down to stabilise the innings and the score board started moving. They crawled to 64 in 10.1 overs as Duminy was smartly stumped by Wade off Doherty again for 30 off 25 balls with 4 fours. AB de Villiers was gone after the addition of 22 runs to the total at his personal contribution of 21.
Farhaan Behardien and Robin Peterson brought back South Africa in the match by playing aggressive cricket. The duo accumulated 58 runs for the unbroken sixth wicket partnership in just 35 deliveries. Behardien stood firm at his end by scoring 31 off 27 balls with 1 six and 2 fours. Peterson remained unbeaten for 32 from 19 deliveries with 6 fours as South Africa reached 146 with five wickets in hand at the end of the 20th over.
Xavier Doherty bowled superbly and achieved his carrier’s best figure of 3-20 in T20 and Shane Watson held two wickets.
It was a do or die game for the Proteas and Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel started the bowling extremely well. The assertive opening batsmen of Australia, David Warner and Shane Watson, found it difficult to score the runs freely against the quality bowling of the rival bowlers. The batsmen managed just 10 runs in the first three overs and the Kangaroos lost Warner when his stumps were dislodged by Morne Morkel on the first ball of the fourth over for five runs.
The solid middle order batsman of Australia, Michael Hussey, joined in next with Watson who opened up in the sixth over off Morne Morkel with 3 fours. Shane Watson took command of the game and added another 11 runs in the eighth over with 1 six and 1 four as Hussey kept on rotating the strike.
Watson smashed his 10th T20 fifty on the third ball of the 10th over with a grand six over deep square leg. He was dropped on the very first ball of the next over by Wayne Parnell off Peterson for 52 runs as Hussey gathered 11 runs in the 12th over with 1 six and 1 four. Shane Watson hit two consecutive fours in the 14th over off Peterson but was caught by Parnell at long-on for 70 off 47 mere balls with 2 huge sixes and 8 fours.
Cameron White came in next and continued blasting the Proteas bowling along with Hussey who got a life when de Villiers missed his stumping on the third ball of the 17th over. White dispatched the winning six on the fourth ball of the next over as Australia chased the target successfully by hammering 147 runs for the loss of two wickets in 17.4 overs. Michael Hussey was at the crease for 45 off 37 deliveries with 2 sixes and even fours as Cameron White secured his end with a quick fired 21 from 13 balls with 1 six and 3 fours.
Australia won the match with a big margin of eight wickets and is a strong contender for the semi final spot after grabbing both Super Eight games.