T20 World Cup: Australia beat South Africa in tense Super 12s opener

Last update on. From the section Cricket
ICC Men's T20 World Cup in Abu Dhabi South Africa 118-9 (20 runs); Markram 40 (36); Hazlewood 2-19, Zampa 2--21 Australia 121-5 (19.4overs: Smith 35 (34), Stoinis 24-* (16); Nortje 2--21 Australia won by five wickets Scorecard & Tables

Australia was determined to defeat South Africa by chasing 119 in the Super 12 match of the T20 World Cup.

Matthew Wade and Marcus Stoinis added an unbroken 40 to help Australia win Abu Dhabi by five wickets.

After Australia fell to 38-3, Steve Smith scored 35 of 34 balls.

South Africa struggled to 118-9 earlier, Aiden Markram hitting an impressive 40, and Josh Hazlewood and Adam Zampa taking two wickets each.

England will begin their campaign against West Indies, the defending champions, in Dubai at 15:00 BST.

While there was no expectation that high scores would be achieved in the first match between the two larger sides after a week's qualifying, the game produced a nervous end with Australia's win not certain until Stoinis hit four balls of the final over.

The atmosphere was very tense among the small crowd. There were only a few South African and Australia fans along with the locals.

Australia wins bowlers

Australia came into the game having lost 15 out of 21 T20s. However, they were never threatened by South Africa.

They were great with the ball and bowled a consistent line and length to limit South Africa. However, they had to rely on poor shot selection and chaotic running.

Hazlewood's accuracy earned him wickets of Rassie Van der Dussen, Quinton de Kock, the ball spinning off Glenn Maxwell's thigh pad and into his stumps after Glenn Maxwell opened the bowling with his off spin and skidded one through Temba Bavuma.

Pat Cummins conceded only 19 runs in four innings, while Adam Zampa, leg-spinner, scored 21 runs and opened South Africa's doors with wickets of Dwaine Pretorius and David Miller in the same over.

Starc, a left-armer, struggled at times. He threw 32 runs. But Australia seems to have everything covered with the ball. Their death-over abilities were not tested and they will be subject to tougher tests against stronger opposition.

Australia lost Aaron Finch at deep third and David Warner at backward point in the powerplay before Mitch Marsh fell.

Smith and Glenn Maxwell, who had just scored 513 runs in Indian Premier League, added 42 runs for the fourth wicket, but were run out by Maxwell in three balls. Australia was left with 81-5 in the 16th.

This equation was 36 after four overs. However, Australia managed to get past the line thanks to Stoinis and Wade.

"It was quite stressful" - that's what they said

Aaron Finch, Australia captain: "The dugout probably was more relaxed than me. Although it was stressful, Marcus Stoinis as well as Matthew Wade displayed a calm mind.

"Glenn Maxwell had some great match-ups in the powerplay and he bowled brilliantly today. The entire bowling team was exceptional.

"We have never had any problems about losing runs - we know that men need to rest. It was wonderful to see the veterans back tonight.

Temba Bavuma, South Africa captain: "We talk about being resilient and there was that chance. It took a lot of effort to get it to the final over.

"The batting went terribly wrong - we didn't get enough."