Aussies level series with commanding victory

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Australia recorded a commanding seven-wicket victory over South Africa in the second Twenty20 international match between the two sides to level the series at 1-1.

Australia recorded a commanding seven-wicket victory over South Africa in the second Twenty20 international match between the two sides to level the series at 1-1.

After the Proteas dominated the first match of the series, the Aussies totally outclassed the South Africans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday, chasing down the paltry target of 102 inside 13 overs.

The Proteas named an unchanged side for the second match of the series and opted to bat after winning the toss, while Australia swopped Kane Richardson for Sean Abbott and Ben Cutting for Glenn Maxwell.

The South Africans got off to the worst possible start one Quinton de Kock was dismissed without scoring when he was undone by a Doug Bollinger delivery that bounced a touch more than he expected and he was caught behind off a feint edge.

New batsman Rilee Rossouw, who was Man of the Match in the first match, played a few glorious-looking strokes before he was undone by a slower ball from James Faulkner and was caught by the bowler for 12.

Captain JP Duminy and Reeza Hendricks spent the next six overs at the wicket, albeit without scoring particularly quickly.

Hendricks was the next to fall – stumped off leg-spinner Cameron Boyce – for 18, bringing Farhaan Behardien to the wicket. The Titans batsman, though, didn't last much longer and fell in exactly the same fashion for five when he too was undone by the leggie's flight.

With time running out, David Miller (11), Ryan McLaren (one) and JP Duminy (49) were all caught on the boundary in search of quick runs, as South Africa finished their 20 overs with a score of 101 for seven.

For Australia, Faulkner was arguably the pick of the bowlers with figures of three for 25, while Boyce impressed too in his four overs, taking two wickets and going for just 15 runs.

The Australia reply was in stark contrast to the Proteas' innings, with Aaron Finch and Ben Dunk adding 44 for the opening wicket inside five overs when the latter fell to Wayne Parnell with his score on 23 when he miscued a drive and was caught at mid-off.

New batsman Shane Watson walked to the wicket intent on playing aggressively against some wayward bowling, with four boundaries in five deliveries from the bowling of McLaren arguably the highlight of the match from a batting perspective.

With just 10 more runs required for victory, Watson (30) gave Parnell his second wicket of the match when he too drove aerially and was caught at mid-off.

In the next over, the 12th of the Australian innings, new batsman Glenn Maxwell gave Kagiso Rabada his first international wicket when tried to hit the winning runs but instead top-edged a pull shot and was caught at backward point for a duck.

Finch (44 not out) was then joined by Cameron White, who scored the winnings runs in the next over.

<b>South Africa:</b> Reeza Hendricks, Quinton de Kock, Rilee Rossouw, JP Duminy, David Miller, Farhaan Behardien, Ryan McLaren, Wayne Parnell, Kyle Abbott, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir.

<b>Australia:</b> Cameron White, Aaron Finch, Shane Watson, Glenn Maxwell, Ben Dunk, Nathan Reardon, James Faulkner, Patrick Cummins, Sean Abbott, Cameron Boyce, Doug Bollinger.

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