Thu, Nov 06, 2014 - Page 20 News List

Rossouw and De Kock bat Proteas to an easy victory

AFP, ADELAIDE, Australia

South Africa batsman Rilee Rossouw plays a shot against Australia in their Twenty20 international at the Adelaide Oval in Australia yesterday.

Photo: AFP

Rilee Rossouw scored a breezy 78 to lead South Africa to a commanding seven-wicket victory over Australia in the first of three Twenty20 internationals yesterday.

Rossouw, making his Twenty20 international debut, smashed three sixes and seven fours in his 50-ball knock to get the Proteas home with 145-3. Australia could only manage 144-6 off their 20 overs after winning the toss at the Adelaide Oval.

South Africa lost Reeza Hendricks off the third ball of the innings, but Rossouw combined with wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock (46 off 39 balls) to put on a match-winning 129-run partnership for the second wicket.

By the time Rossouw skied Pat Cummins to Ben Cutting in the 15th over, the Proteas only needed 16 runs for victory.

“Fortunately for me, tonight was my night,” Rossouw said. “You’ve got to be on top of your game and if it’s your night you have to capitalize.”

The Proteas’ well-drilled bowling and outstanding fielding kept Australia under pressure with Shane Watson, in his first international appearance for seven months, top-scoring with 47 off 36 balls.

Watson’s innings, with support from James Faulkner (41 not out), revived the home side after a poor start.

Australia struggled to 67-4 after 10 overs with both their international debutants, Ben Dunk and Nathan Reardon, failing.

Dunk made just 2 and Reardon 4 after opening batsmen Aaron Finch (14) and Cameron White (24 from 21 balls) had begun briskly.

“I thought we were pretty disappointing with the bat. It was a beautiful wicket, and the guys at the top of the order didn’t really go on and get that big score,” Australia captain Finch said.

The openers took 27 from the initial three overs, before tight bowling and brilliant fielding stifled the hosts.

White cracked an uppish cut only for Farhaan Behardien to snaffle a superb overhead catch at point, while Reardon’s debut dig was spectacularly cut short by Proteas wicketkeeper De Kock.

Paceman Kyle Abbott was the pick of the South Africa bowlers with three for 21 off four overs.

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