Australia claim victory over Proteas in seven-over T20 match
David Warner clubbed 40 from just 16 deliveries to help Australia claim a five-wicket Duckworth-Lewis victory over the Proteas in their rain-reduced seven-over Twenty20 international at Kingsmead, in Durban on Wednesday.
The booming opener clubbed two sixes and five fours in his aggressive knock, while Brad Hodge smashed 21 from eight balls, including two maximums in the final over, as the tourists won with two balls to spare.
Quinton de Kock (41 off 20) and Faf du Plessis (27) earlier shared an unbroken 74-run stand to help South Africa post 81 for one after losing the toss and being asked to bat first.
The match was in doubt in the build-up due to heavy rain through the afternoon in the east coast city, but eventually got underway two-and-a-half hours later than the 6pm scheduled start.
Hashim Amla managed one boundary in nine deliveries, before falling in the second over, caught and bowled by the fast bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile.
The slow start continued into the third over, which the Proteas ended on 11, before De Kock brought the crowd to its feet with a four and a six when Shane Watson was introduced to the attack.
The momentum continued into the fifth over sent down by Dan Christian when Du Plessis got going.
The South Africa skipper first struck the bowler for a straight four, followed by successive sixes – one over the head over the long off and the next a superb hit over deep square-leg.
The 50 was raised with eight balls to go when an edge by Du Plessis raced away to fine leg, with De Kock launching Coulter-Nile for a massive six over cow corner to raise the 50 stand in 25 balls.
De Kock then took two more sixes, for a total of four, of Mitchell Starc's final over to take the set 81.
The Australians made a rollicking start to the reply with Lonwabo Tsotsobe smashed for 21 in the first over, 16 of those to Warner.
However, Abbott made amends by going for just five in the next over and claiming the wicket of Aaron Finch (5), miscuing to Amla back-peddling at midwicket.
That work was undone straightaway by debutant Beuran Hendricks, though, as he went for 20 more in the next over, with Warner striking him for two fours and a six that flew out of the ground.
The opener was also dropped by Wayne Parnell on the deep cover fence when he caught the ball and threw it back into play as he lost balance, only to for the rebound to fall out of his hands.
Parnell did make amends when he had Shane Watson (2) caught by Abbott at cover in a three-run fourth over.
Key man Warner was trapped leg before wicket by JP Duminy's first delivery, before the 50 was raised in 28 balls.
Glenn Maxwell (1) and George Bailey (2) fell cheaply thereafter leaving 15 to get from the last over.
Parnell started well enough with two from two, but two Hodge sixes sent the tourists on their way to a 1-0 series lead.
The final match of the series will be played at Centurion on Friday. – Sapa.