Proteas fight to draw series

South Africa pulled off an unlikely three-wicket victory at the Wanderers Stadium on Sunday to draw their two-match T20 International series against Australia.

Wayne Parnell and Man-of-the-Match Rusty Theron shared a 64-run partnership in the dying overs of the game as the series was levelled at 1-1.

The hosts, chasing 148, found themselves in trouble at 18/3 after four overs.

Captain Hashim Amla, removed for four runs, was the first to fall at the end of the first over, bowled by Doug Bollinger but it was teenage fast bowler Pat Cummins who did the early damage.

After conceding three runs in his first over, Cummins took two wickets in his second, a maiden over.

Colin Ingram played on for a meagre five runs and JP Duminy failed to score as David Hussey tumbled to his right to take a good catch at gully.

Graeme Smith, booed by the crowd when he walked out at the start of the innings, lasted eight overs before he was caught and bowled by Hussey for 24.

David Miller and Johan Botha put on 32 runs for the fifth wicket before the Proteas lost another three quick wickets.

Just when it looked all over, at 84/7, Parnell and big-hitting Rusty Theron came to the rescue.

The pair’s eighth-wicket stand came off only 30 balls and included five fours and three sixes.

Parnell was unbeaten on 29 and Theron was not out on 31 when the South Africans secured victory with five balls to spare.

Australia, after winning the toss and batting first, made a slow start for their 147/8.

They lost their first wicket to Morne Morkel in the second over when Colin Ingram took a good sliding catch to dismiss David Warner for a duck.

Debutant Mitchell Marsh added some fireworks at the end, smashing Morkel for three sixes before he was bowled off the last ball of the innings for 36.

Lonwabo Tsotsobe was the pick of the Protea bowlers, finishing with 2/11 after Matthew Wade (10) edged a ball to Heino Kuhn behind the stumps and Steven Smith (9) was removed with an excellent ball taken by David Miller at cover.

Shaun Marsh, who made 26, gave Kuhn his second catch, with a high, swirling ball near backward point after he failed to connect properly with a delivery from Theron.

The big wicket of Hussey, who contributed 12, fell to Botha after a well-judged catch was taken by David Miller on the boundary.

Australian captain Cameron White, who showed the most resistance with his 39, was undone by Parnell’s boot as the bowler scampered down the wicket on his follow-through and kicked the ball onto the stumps as the batsman attempted a single.

Australia’s ton came off 100 balls but they were unable to build momentum as they lost wickets at regular intervals. — Sapa

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