Heinz Schenk
1 minute read
21 Feb 2020
9:12 pm

Pitiful Proteas thumped by rampant Aussies

Heinz Schenk

It was a night to forget for the hosts at the Wanderers as spinner Ashton Agar takes a memorable hat-trick.

South Africa's Faf du Plessis playing a shot during the first T20 international cricket match between South Africa and Australia at The Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on February 21, 2020. (Photo by Christiaan Kotze / AFP)

It took about 90 minutes for a rampant Australia to dump South African cricket back into a dark hole.

The visitors’ disciplined attack decimated the Proteas batting order in the first T20 at the Wanderers on Friday night, shooting them out for 89 to clinch a massive 107-run victory.

It’s South Africa’s lowest total and biggest loss in the format.

The left-arm spin of Ashton Agar was the destroyer in chief, claiming an incredible 5/24 in his four-over spell, which included the 12th hat-trick in the history of T2o internationals.

He first had the returning Faf du Plessis (24), who looked promising, caught at deep extra cover, before trapping Andile Phehlukwayo in front and then having his captain Aaron Finch to thank for a splendid catch at slip off the money ball to dismiss Dale Steyn.

Agar later dismissed debutant Pite van Biljon (16) and Lungi Ngidi off successive deliveries to astonishingly be on a hat-trick for a second time in the game.

Yet the rot had set in much earlier as the Proteas failed to deal with the new ball onslaught of Pat Cummins (2/13) and Mitchell Starc.

In contrast, the home attack was plan-less and wayward in conceding yet another high score – 196/6.

12 wides was indicative of South Africa’s poor display.

Steve Smith (45 off 32) feasted off the width on offer and was well supported by Finch (42), who was also dynamic at the top of the order.

Tabraiz Shamsi’s left-arm tweakers brought the home side back into the game somewhat and he deserved his haul of 2/31.

The experienced Dale Steyn (2/31) also fought all the way.

But the rest was simply dross.

For more sport your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.