Australia registered a resounding victory
in the first T20I against South Africa in Kingsmead, smashing the Proteas by
111 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Mitchell Marsh led from
the front for the visitors on his T20I captaincy debut, smashing an unbeaten 92
and putting on a 97-run stand with Tim David to take Australia to 226/6. South
Africa withered in response in the chase, with Tanveer Sangha taking four
wickets on debut to skittle the hosts for 115 in 15.3 overs.
Marsh got Australia off to a scintillating
start after Aiden Markram won the toss and opted to bowl. Marco Jansen had
Travis Head nicking off in the first over, but the skipper wasted no time in
getting into his groove, smashing Lungi Ngidi for 20 runs in the second over. Marsh
and debutant Matthew Short continued to put their foot on the pedal, taking the
visitors to 68/1 in 4.3 overs before the Proteas temporarily pulled things back
thanks to a wicket maiden from Gerald Coetzee to end the powerplay.
Lizaad Williams also bolstered South
Africa’s position by dismissing Matthew Short and Marcus Stoinis in quick
succession, reducing Australia to 77/4 after 7 overs. However, Mitchell Marsh
and Tim David ensured that the visitors didn’t lose track for long, with the
pair putting on a sensational stand of 97 from just 52 deliveries.
The new-look South African attack had no answers
to the brute force of David and Marsh, with the former smashing three sixes
against Tabraiz Shamsi and pummelling Gerald Coetzee for three boundaries in an
over on his way to a 24-ball half-century. It took an astonishing catch from
Temba Bavuma at the boundary to remove David, but there was no stopping
Mitchell Marsh, who brought up a 22-ball fifty and carried his form throughout
the innings, finishing with 92 off 49 balls to take Australia to an
Chasing 227, the hosts lost Temba Bavuma
for a duck in the first over to Marcus Stoinis and never recovered throughout
their innings to make it a contest. Rassie van der Dussen mistimed to mid-off
after a brisk start before debutant Jason Sangha ripped through the middle
order. The leg-spinner had Aiden Markram cutting one to point before dismissing
fellow debutant Dewald Brevis and Tristan Stubbs in his next over as South
Africa felt the pressure of the rising required rate.
Sangha also had Marco Jansen bowled to
finish with figures of 4/31, while Stoinis added a pair of tail-enders to help
Australia clinch a thumping victory by 111 runs in Durban.