T20 : Australia take T20 Series in spite of Amla’s heroics
HASHIM AMLA made an emphatic claim to a regular place in the Oxigen Proteas T20 line-up when he came within three runs of becoming the fourth South African to score a century in this format in the final KFC T20 International at PPC Newlands on Wednesday evening.
In spite of his efforts (an unbeaten 97 off 62 balls, 8 fours and 4 sixes) Australia still managed to win the match by six wickets with four balls to spare. In the process, they made the second highest T20 International score at Newlands and the highest when batting second.
It also gave them a 2-1 victory in the series.
Amla has now made 166 runs in his last two T20 innings (this game plus the second match against England) off exactly 100 balls without being dismissed in either innings. He got his chance this evening with AB de Villiers being rested and he responded by playing the major role in enabling the Proteas to score 68/1 in the six power play overs. The Proteas scored 55 in five overs at the end of their innings and the period that really cost them was the middle nine overs when they managed only 55 runs.
A key component for Australia in those middle overs was the spinner, Adam Zampa, who conceded only 23 runs in his four overs.
By contrast, Australia scored 51 in the power play but then made 87 in the middle nine leaving them a very gettable 41 runs in the last 5 overs.
David Warner, who batted consistently throughout the series, was named KFC Man of the Series.
Although Australia’s victory was reasonably comfortable in the end it was fitting that the series should go down to the final over as there has been much excellent cricket played by both sides and they will both go to the ICC World Twenty20 in good condition.
In spite of the defeat, there were still a number of positive for the Proteas in addition to Amla, who was named KFC Man of the Match. JP Duminy bowled a lot better than he has for some time in the two overs he was given while the bowling discipline was also much better with four wides being conceded compared with the two of Australia.
For the third limited-overs international match in a row at Newlands the crowd exceeded 19 000 (19 315), bringing the total attendance at this ground for eight days of international cricket this year up to the 145 000 mark.
Both teams leave for India for the ICC World Twenty20 tomorrow.
The Proteas play their first warm-up match against India on Saturday.