Mitch Marsh, the captain of the New Australia Twenty20 International team, amassed his team’s second straight undefeated half century on Friday, helping them to a decisive eight-wicket win against the South African hosts and an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
With the short boundaries at Kingsmead, the home team’s 20 overs of 164 for eight did not seem to be enough when they were sent in to bat in Durban.
Marsh followed up his unbroken 92 in the 111-run triumph in the opening match on Wednesday with 79 not out from 39 deliveries, including eight fours and six sixes, and Australia had no issue reaching their goal in 14.5 overs.
Together with the brilliant opener Matthew Short, who scored 66 from 30 balls and was both graceful and merciless, he put up 100 runs in 45 balls for the second wicket.
After making his debut in the first match of the series, Short achieved his first international half century.
At the post-game ceremony, Marsh said, “It’s great, I’m proud of the boys because a series win in South Africa is hard to come by.”
“The bowlers set up the game tonight; they were all excellent.”
Temba Bavuma, the opener, went out of the blocks quickly with 35 off 17, while South Africa’s best scorer in the innings was home captain Aiden Markram, with 49 off 38 balls.
However, Australia was able to consistently take wickets by using deft speed and swing adjustments on a useful ground.
Their best bowlers were seamers Shaun Abbott (3-22) and Nathan Ellis (3-25), with Jason Behrendorff adding a useful 2-25.
“We had a great start thanks to Temba, but it was difficult because we were losing wickets on a regular basis,” Markram remarked. “We intended to delve deeply. It may be challenging when two hitters are attempting to force the ball out of the ground as they come to bat.”
Before the sides swap formats for a five-game One-Day International series ahead of the World Cup, which begins in India next month, the series concludes on Sunday at the same location.