David Warner and Glenn Maxwell shared the fourth highest partnership in the history of Twenty20 international cricket to set Australia up for a last-ball, five-wicket victory over South Africa in the second ODI at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Sunday. The series is now locked 1-1 ahead of the decider at Newlands on Wednesday. (Miller Steers South Africa to Victory Over Australia)
Warner (77 off 40 balls, 6 fours and 5 sixes) and Maxwell (75 off 43 balls, 7 fours and 3 sixes) shared a partnership of 161, which was Australia’s highest and also the highest ever for the fourth wicket and the highest for any wicket at the Wanderers. This came after the Proteas had struck three early blows in the power play to reduce Australia to 36/3 in pursuit of a target of 205.
Both Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada bowled well during the powerplay with the latter also taking an incredible acrobatic catch to dismiss Australian captain Steve Smith
Warner, who was named Man of the Match, and Maxwell then launched a thrilling counter-attack that saw Imran Tahir and David Wiese concede a combined total of 105 runs from their eight overs.
As always in these matches, the contest came down to fine margins with Chris Morris bowling a no ball and two wides in his last over and Rabada two wides in his last over when he almost managed to defend a target of 11 runs and force a super over.
Australia’s total was the third highest winning total batting second at the Wanderers, only surpassed by the West Indies 236/6 against the Proteas in 2015 and the Proteas 208/2 against the West Indies in 2008.
The Proteas, who were put into bat, owed their total largely to Faf du Plessis’ 79 off 41 balls (5 fours and 5 sixes) although there were good supporting roles from Quinton de Kock (44 off 28 balls, 8 fours and a six) and David Miller (33 off 18 balls, 2 fours and 2 sixes).
James Faulkner was another major contributor to Australia’s triumph with figures of 3/28 in his four overs.
The Australian bowlers were generally more disciplined than their South African counterparts, conceding three wides and one no ball, compared with the hosts’ eight wides and two no balls.