Australia romp to series victory over Proteas with a match to spare
Mitchell Marsh led his team to another convincing victory.
Australian players celebrate the dismissal of Rassie van der Dussen during the second T20 International in Durban. Picture: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images
Again outplayed with bat and ball, the Proteas cricket team suffered another humiliating defeat on Friday night, with Australia taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in their three-match T20 International series in Durban.
Set a target of 165 runs to win at Kingsmead Stadium, the Australians never looked to be in any real doubt, and they were carried home once more by captain Mitchell Marsh as they coasted to an eight-wicket victory with more than five overs to spare.
South Africa struck in the fifth over when Travis Head was removed by Lizaad Williams for 18 runs, but any hopes of holding off the tourists were soon crushed.
Opening batter Matthew Short hammered 66 runs from just 30 deliveries in an explosive innings that included seven fours and four sixes.
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And while he fell in the 12th over, Marsh then guided his team to 165/2 as they wrapped up another convincing win.
The skipper bashed his second successive half-century, finishing unbeaten (as he had done in the opening match) after contributing 76 runs off 39 balls. His superb effort featured seven fours, and he cleared the boundary six times.
Earlier, after they were sent in to bat, opener Temba Bavuma got the Proteas off to an explosive start, but they were unable to build momentum.
While Bavuma bashed 35 runs off 17 balls, at a strike rate of 205.88, he fell in the fourth over when seamer Sean Abbott had him caught behind.
Proteas captain Aiden Markram then contributed 49 runs off 38 deliveries, carrying the middle order before he too was removed by Abbott in the penultimate over of the innings.
In a repeat of their crushing defeat in the opening match of the series two days earlier, the hosts struggled to build partnerships, and this ultimately prevented them from putting up a fight as they were restricted to 164/8 in their 20 overs.
Abbott, who returned 3/22, and Nathan Ellis (3/25) spearheaded the dominant Australian bowling attack, laying the foundation for their team.
The third and final match of the T20 International series between South Africa and Australia will be played at Kingsmead Stadium on Sunday (2pm).