Australia v South Africa, World Twenty20, Colombo

South Africa out to erase poor Australia record

The Preview by Firdose Moonda

September 29, 2012

Comments: 69 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

September 30, 2012
Start time 1530 local (1000 GMT)

AB de Villiers scored a quick 30, Sri Lanka v South Africa, World Twenty20 2012, Group C, Hambantota, September 22, 2012
Which slot will AB de Villiers occupy in the batting order? © Associated Press
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Big Picture

Another classic encounter beckons for this group as the "best of enemies," as they were once called meet. South Africa and Australia history at major tournaments needs only one number to get blood boiling: 1999.

But there are others. In the 2007 World Cup, South Africa lost twice to Australia, once in the group stage and once in the semi-final. Australia have had the better of South Africa in major tournaments since Sydney 1992, when South Africa beat them by nine wickets.

This time, the contest is no more insubstantial. Australia could seal their place in the semi-final with a win and ease their passage to a trophy they have yet to lay claim on. If that happens, South Africa could be looking for the exit signs of yet another major tournament. If it does not, South Africa will live to fight another day, something they have promised to do in pursuit of silverware.

Even without the history, the match-ups are compelling. Both George Bailey and AB de Villiers are in the process of proving themselves as captains, South Africa have an experienced pace attack in Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, Australia a youthful one with Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc leading their charge. Richard Levi was talked about as having the power of David Warner, but lacks the consistency and Jacques Kallis and Brad Hogg are two of the oldest men at the event who will no doubt take bragging rights from whoever makes a more athletic save in the field.

Although the tournament itself has been livened up since the group stage, South Africa and Australia have never disappointed when it comes to thrills. Theirs could be some of the bigger ones of an already big event.

Form guide

(completed matches, most recent first)
South Africa LWWLW
Australia WWWWL

Watch out for

Although Colombo is not a quick bowler's favourite place Pat Cummins may have other reasons to be excited for this encounter. Cummins announced himself as an international cricketer in South Africa last year when he impressed with his speed and sensible strategising and had some of the South African batsmen in fear. Who can forget how he worked over Jacques Kallis and the contest could be resumed in this match.

Once shaky but now solid, JP Duminy has become a go-to man for South Africa and one of their most reliable presences on the field. Duminy's problems against spin are a thing of the past, his level head has helped steady the batting in everything from a Test match in England to the T20 against Pakistan. He also took a crucial wicket and an athletic catch and his all-round presence is an important one for South Africa if they hope to go all the way this time.

Team news

Dale Steyn, who took a blow to the ankle against Pakistan, is likely to be fit after the injury was revealed to only be a bruising. Although South Africa struggled with the bat against Pakistan, AB de Villiers did not forsee any changes to his XI but did say they would "look at a few things." Faf du Plessis may be brought into the top three in place of the misfiring Richard Levi and will also offer an additional spin option, as would Justin Ontong. If Steyn is unable to play, Lonwabo Tsotsobe or Wayne Parnell could take his place.

South Africa (probable): 1 Richard Levi, 2 Hashim Amla, 3 Jacques Kallis, 4 AB de Villiers (capt & wk), 5 JP Duminy, 6 Farhaan Behardien, 7 Albie Morkel 8 Johan Botha 9 Robin Peterson 10 Morne Morkel, 11 Dale Steyn

After outclassing India in all departments on Friday, Australia could go in with the same XI.

Australia (probable): 1 David Warner, 2 Shane Watson, 3 Mike Hussey, 4 Cameron White, 5 George Bailey (capt), 6 Glenn Maxwell, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 Dan Christian, 9 Brad Hogg, 10 Pat Cummins, 11 Mitchell Starc

Pitch and conditions

Colombo's slow turner is not the kind of surface South Africa and Australia usually do battle on. Far from the pace of the WACA or the Wanderers, it will not have much in it for the fast men. Instead the likes of Robin Peterson, Glenn Maxwell, Johan Botha and Brad Hogg will be looking to make names for themselves that Allan Donald and Glenn McGrath made in previous rivalries between the two. Run scoring has proved difficult as well with totals of around 150 considered par. Another hot day is expected, with high humidity and, as always, a chance of rain.

Stats and trivia

  • David Warner is one of only five batsmen to have scored more than 1,000 T20 runs. South Africa's closest to that mark is Graeme Smith, who has 982 runs but is not in the World T20 squad.
  • Albie Morkel is the only bowler to have taken a wicket without conceding a run in a T20 match. He has done it twice, both times against England.


"If we play better cricket, we will go through to the semi-finals and there won't be any choking there, that's for sure."
After South Africa's loss to Pakistan, AB de Villiers shrugged off suggestions of choking and said his men understand the importance of their next two matches

"We have got our fingers crossed that they will play AB de Villiers as low as they possibly can. That will work in our favour."
Shane Watson

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by LilAnzac on (September 30, 2012, 11:17 GMT)

@ rednwhitearmy. Who you calling a minnow? The only team that's performed like minnows are England!! Towelled up by shocking Indian side who were then destroyed by these so called minnows. Look forward to this same batting lineup tearing you boys apart. At least we can say our team is full of Australians!! Its a well known fact you can't produce decent batsmen so you recruit/pinch other countries batsmen..Give your best player Morgan back to his homeland Ireland and England becomes minnows.. KP is a great batsmen and the main reason England have done anything in recent years and oh that's right not from England!!and Kieswetter.. well leave him there cause he's terrible!! The rest of your so called young guns have done nothing.. Future looks bright for England I mean Ireland or is it South Africa?? Lol

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (September 30, 2012, 10:24 GMT)

@ravirai8616561 (post on September 30 2012, 05:21 AM GMT): It's SA vs AUSTRALIA... Think you've got the wrong thread.

Posted by kamiCric on (September 30, 2012, 9:45 GMT)

Sanjay Manjrekar saying that SA looked the better team throughout the Pak/SA match is typical of cricket pandits biased towards Pakistan... Pak bowled really well to restrict SA in their innings and were in no way the inferior team in that match.

Posted by JG2704 on (September 30, 2012, 9:14 GMT)

@Hardy1 on (September 29 2012, 17:00 PM GMT) I don't think NZ are out yet. Maybe I have this wrong but if NZ beat WI fairly handily I'd even make them favourites above England as Eng have to play SL and can't see them winning that one

Posted by   on (September 30, 2012, 8:59 GMT)

Looking forward to this match but won't be getting too optimistic just yet. I am a bit of a cynic when we play Australia in world cups because we've had to many bad outings at crucial times against them. I think the key to winning this match from a Saffa perspective is (a)AB needs to bat well further up the order and keep his head on the field (b) Get Watson and Warner out early in the Aus innings(c) Overall team belief i.e. they can't have the same attitude that alot of us Saffa fans have about playing Aus in WC's :) - but can you blame us?

Posted by   on (September 30, 2012, 8:58 GMT)

All the besr proteas.AB should batted at no.3 or 4..........all the best.waitiung for excited game of cricket......

Posted by vak1997 on (September 30, 2012, 8:39 GMT)

it will be very interesting to see how warner and watson will fare against steyn and morkel. it's the best batting pair vs best bowling pair!

Posted by DayKiller on (September 30, 2012, 8:34 GMT)

Last opportunity for SA , prove not to chokers,and,i think they will be.I will give 55 to SA and 45 to AUS.

Posted by   on (September 30, 2012, 8:06 GMT)

This is EPIC ... Must win game for SA and Aussie need to win this game to secure their spot in semis ... All the best guys !!! """"" from sl """ ........ and @Vinod the teams are equally good.... dont dream abt it too much ... just wait and see what will hpn ... and keep ur mouth shut..

Posted by Murtaza0336 on (September 30, 2012, 7:49 GMT)

south africa should win it easily.There winning ratio after 2010 worldcup is far better than australia and their bowling and batting is far better than should understand that their performance against paksitan in world t20s is not good but their performance against otehr teams is excellent and their record shows that.It should be an easy game for south africa.

Posted by Baber_Baloch on (September 30, 2012, 7:48 GMT)

for AUS 2W doing well..if they fail...Aust gona fail.

Posted by rajeshkamatanam on (September 30, 2012, 7:39 GMT)

Go Aussies!May be one of the very few times I supported Aussies recently but I dont mind this time because It helps India's cause

Posted by   on (September 30, 2012, 6:57 GMT)

ab do something pleez.....................................................................

Posted by gibbs.175 on (September 30, 2012, 6:51 GMT)

i think..........tournament is over for SA

Posted by gibbs.175 on (September 30, 2012, 6:47 GMT)

AB is not a wise captain....he could win the last match easily.....but choked again......M Morkel is only a test bowler.....give a chance parnell to open a bat {but he is very expensive in just '' god bless them .....

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (September 30, 2012, 6:34 GMT)

It would be a huge result for a minnow country to beat South Africa...potential bannana skin for SA

Posted by Baber_Baloch on (September 30, 2012, 6:11 GMT)

Today match is for SA africa.........

Posted by jonesy2 on (September 30, 2012, 5:53 GMT)

are australia going to go in full strength or are guys like watto going to be rested? i would rest him and cummins because with hussey and mckay coming in you wouldnt lose too much! althougn they will want to beat south africa, knocking them out of the tournament and sealing a place in the semis for themselves.

Posted by   on (September 30, 2012, 5:52 GMT)

Where will AB de Villiers in the SA batting order.....?

Posted by   on (September 30, 2012, 5:44 GMT)

Everyone seems to be writing Australia off before a ball is bowled. Seems a bit strange since the haven't lost a game yet. Of course SA can win but they have two huge mountains to cross. Watson and Warner. Very rarely do they both fail. If SA don't get them both early then its game over. If they only get one the other still has Hussey to play with and that could also mean game over. They then have to get the rest out and it is still a very good line up with the bat. Australia's batting is stronger than SA in the t20 format. SA's bowling is very good but so is Australia's. both teams won't drop catches. It will only be close if SA can get Watson and Warner, otherwise SA has no hope.

Posted by   on (September 30, 2012, 5:36 GMT)

It sure is the CLASH of the TITANS.... It always be good to watch two best teams in the world going against each other.... India vs Pak prevails the same.... Eager to watch Cummins vs South Africa....

Posted by ravirai8616561 on (September 30, 2012, 5:21 GMT)


Posted by humi_76 on (September 30, 2012, 5:00 GMT)

Wow, what a day for cricket. Aus Vs SFA and Pak vs Ind, ooopppppppppps.

Posted by   on (September 30, 2012, 5:00 GMT)

South Africa South Africa.......I just want them to win at any cost...Can't see Australia going to semi final...........I just want South Africa to prove that they are not chokers anymore...Such a talented team...They just need luck .........Dale Steyn we need you to perform today :) Australians should be shown the door

Posted by   on (September 30, 2012, 4:49 GMT)

ozzies are going down today

Posted by cric_freakNo2 on (September 30, 2012, 4:46 GMT)

This is the best day in history of cricket. Two pairs of the most heated rivals in cricket go head on. Also two teams,which i like the most, AUS n SA,going to clash.Ya you can certainly call it "CLASH OF TITANS". i dont know whom to cheer. I think it would be better for me to sleep during the match time :)

Posted by   on (September 30, 2012, 4:05 GMT)

I think the South African team will play with a "do or die" attitude today. And they are going to win.

Posted by PFEL on (September 30, 2012, 3:30 GMT)

The title seems a bit misleading . . . how would a single win in a qualifying stage of T20 tournament (which is notoriously random), ERASE over a decade of poor performances against Australia in major tournaments

Posted by Dimitri_SL on (September 30, 2012, 3:05 GMT)

If Aus looses today they'll have another chance at qualifying for Semis on Tuesday against Pak, But for Proteas, a loss today will surely spell curtains, assuming Pak will easily run over the toothless Indians, For Proteas why not open with AB and send Amla low down the order,this way they'll have enough fire power at the top and a classy batter in Amla to accumulate and accelerate at will with the likes of Duminy.

Posted by Biggus on (September 30, 2012, 2:08 GMT)

Tally ho Saffas, bring it on. Should be a good clash and a tiny taste of the summer to come.

Posted by theyouneek on (September 30, 2012, 1:55 GMT)

i guess the Only team with some positive attitude is Australia in this tournament, look at the way the played against India , west indies .... to beat Australia develiar's side will av to play very wisely from the beginning n throughout the game.. South Africa should bat 2nd i reckon... 1st go good with the ball break aussie opening pair in 1st 3,4 overs use variation in bowling fast n spin bowling combination from the start nd leave your fast bowlers for last few overs if necessary...good luck both teams

Posted by Prashantganesh on (September 30, 2012, 1:50 GMT)

Xylo got it spot on. The only worry for the Aussies is that their middle order hasn't been tested yet. So, SA must get to their middle order as quickly as possible. If the top 3 of AUS get to a blazing start as we have seen in the past, then it could be curtains for SA. On the +ve side, if Amla and Kallis get going, I feel we really have a game on. SA must bat first if they stand a chance to win in this match.

Posted by Marcio on (September 30, 2012, 1:35 GMT)

These T20 games are basically impossible to predict. A huge win or a huge loss in your last game doesn't matter. All that matters is what happens on the night. As we saw with the SA-PAK game, even a few slogs from a batting bunny swinging across the line can win a game - after all the real batsmen have failed. I'd love to see AUS win one of their last two games (the other vs PAK) and make the semis. But I wouldn't put my house on it, that's for sure.

Posted by BrisVegan on (September 30, 2012, 1:32 GMT)

SA is the only team I fear in this tournament as an Aussie. They have a match proven middle order whilst we do not - the heroics of Warner and Watson in recent matches could be our undoing tonight, going in with an under-baked middle order (perhaps with the exception of Hussey, he's always a class act). If our bowling fires and one of our openers can hang around for a decent score, we still have a good chance in this game. Anyone here writing Oz off already (like in the WI match) might again be in for a reality check - this Aussie side is a damned good one and don't be surprised if the green and gold get up again. We love the "underdog" label.

Posted by mixters on (September 30, 2012, 1:16 GMT)

Is it all about watson? Can anyone remember what Warner did to Dale Styne on debt in Melbourne? The Australian top order have done well be dont discount the rest. The Indians must rate Christian look at his Auction price for the IPL Beware the no name players even SRT once had no reputation

Posted by   on (September 30, 2012, 0:53 GMT)

Today no matter what Aussies hav 2 win. Cmon take the place 4 the Semis.

Posted by Mikecricket on (September 30, 2012, 0:53 GMT)

You can win this Aussies, Smash South Africa!

Posted by henchart on (September 30, 2012, 0:48 GMT)

Law of average is going to catch up with Aussies .SA will live to fight another day ie tuesday and so would India.The last two super eight games in Group 2 are going to be Quarter Finals of sorts.

Posted by RyanSmith on (September 30, 2012, 0:41 GMT)

@Hardy1 New Zealand aren't out yet! If they beat the West Indies AND Sri Lanka defeat England (which is hardly an unbelievable result), that leaves SL with 3 wins as top of the group and WI, Eng and NZ with one win a piece, and it will come down to run rate. Their run rate is not so bad to think that a win in their last game coupled with losses to both WI and Eng wouldn't put them through. They could definitely still make the semis.

Posted by   on (September 30, 2012, 0:03 GMT)

south africa is going to win this game..thats for sure

Posted by Fayss on (September 29, 2012, 23:52 GMT)

Now this is what I call 'Clash of the Titans'... No matter Saffa lost against my team but they didn't lose the respect. Its an honour in a defeat but the fight of 'ego vs discipline' will start tomorrow. If the rain stayed away from the cricket ground then we are going to witness the MEGA SUNDAY of Cricket.

Posted by   on (September 29, 2012, 23:08 GMT)

SA will win this match and they will make the final against SL- SL will win it

Posted by   on (September 29, 2012, 22:46 GMT)

watto u gooooooooooooooooooooooooooo watto

Posted by   on (September 29, 2012, 22:03 GMT)

I think SA will take out Watson cheaply and then it will be upto the middle order and Michael Hussey to score as many runs as possible - this will be their real test. In any case this will be a tough contest. AB should come lower down if SA bats second as he is a good finisher but if SA bats first he needs to come up the order.

Posted by wwechampsaad on (September 29, 2012, 19:10 GMT)

Common australia beat south africa and then seal the spot for the semi finals

Posted by SurlyCynic on (September 29, 2012, 18:48 GMT)

South Africa just thrashed the Aussies at rugby too, so perhaps that was a good warmup for a weekend of kangaroo bashing. Should be a good game.

Posted by Blessington on (September 29, 2012, 18:34 GMT)

Come on Australia you can do it. world T20 is the title still in wanting be to achieved by country like yours. Blow the SA from the tournament and declare your come back into large stage irrespective of making mockery on ranking positions. Let the world know hw special you are. Here is a true Indian and a Lover of cricket awaiting for the Aussies the invincible. All the Beat guys...

Posted by Htc-Android on (September 29, 2012, 18:29 GMT)

whichever situation it is.AB should bat at no.4 he is best batsman in SA. he should face the most amount of deliveries.

Posted by Highflyer_GP on (September 29, 2012, 18:09 GMT)

Do NOT give Parnell a place. That guy will cost them the cup with his poor and expensive bowling.

Posted by xylo on (September 29, 2012, 18:09 GMT)

The only worry for Australia should be that only Watson and Warner, and to some extent have had any batting practice so far. If a team can get past them, and I believe South Africa can, Australia might face what happened to the West Indies today after Gayle and Charles departed.

Posted by OZ_CRICKETLOVER on (September 29, 2012, 18:05 GMT)

Eagerly waiting 4 d fire power of Maxwell n another 'W'.. Wade

Posted by The_Aeroboy on (September 29, 2012, 18:04 GMT)

there will be a great contest between pacers, all rounders & batsmen. in some places SA are well ahead but AUS is performing more than their capability in this tournament... eager to enjoy the rivalry...

Posted by Newlandsfaithful on (September 29, 2012, 18:00 GMT)

If the think tank is in the same groove it was for the Pakistan game, I think there is more chance of Ricky Ponting marrying Prince Harry than of SA winning. As for all the strange batting lineups, it's actually getting quite silly now. Maybe they just sit in the dressing room and draw names out of a hat. It certainlt is NOT WORKING. Neither is Levi. Much rather have Biff and his experience out there, but there's nothing that can be done about that. At the moment the team has more ideas than a interior designer on caffine overload, but very little common sense. Oh well. Yet another competition failure coming up.

Posted by   on (September 29, 2012, 17:56 GMT)

Match would be really interesting but probably Watson might steal the show yet another time

Posted by tdslbuwa on (September 29, 2012, 17:56 GMT)

Chokers will choke again for sure...Go Kangaroos trash Proteas....!!!!!!!

Posted by OZ_CRICKETLOVER on (September 29, 2012, 17:50 GMT)

AUSSIES will make it to the semis.. Go Aussies Go !!!!

Posted by RVManju on (September 29, 2012, 17:42 GMT)

AB shud lead from front...come on AB... U can and shud do it.

Posted by Shazia_Javed on (September 29, 2012, 17:39 GMT)

My prediction is that SA will win this match. ( I like both Aus and SA teams becasue of their hardwork and very professional approach to the game).

Posted by rajnitc on (September 29, 2012, 17:25 GMT)

sa will win the match comfortably

Posted by   on (September 29, 2012, 17:03 GMT)

All the very best to kangaroos!!!!

Posted by shefry on (September 29, 2012, 17:00 GMT)

I put my money on SA. AB will steer the lads to perfection. Get the Watson's wicket in first 5 overs i don't see SA losing.

Posted by Hardy1 on (September 29, 2012, 17:00 GMT)

I'm rooting for a South Africa win since Australia are looking so strong and already look likely to progress. Nice to see the home team Sri Lanka doing well too & personally I'd like to see one of those 3 teams win the tournament since England, Pakistan & India each already have a tournament & West Indies look unlikely to progress, with New Zealand already out.

Posted by Farhan140 on (September 29, 2012, 16:59 GMT)

Aussies not face a real bowling attack yet (i hope, Windians and Indians fans won't mind that comment), this is their first real test...

Posted by   on (September 29, 2012, 16:12 GMT)

All the best proteas.AB should come at no 3 or 4..............

Posted by Huss_Sac on (September 29, 2012, 15:17 GMT)

SA should persist with levi, as he can play better against fast bowling. A quick fire 20s will do.. As long as SA doesnt rely on Albie's bowling too much t,hey should win.. 60 40 in favor of SA .. but u never know how they ll crumble :P

Posted by   on (September 29, 2012, 14:50 GMT)

I think SA should beat mighty Aussies.. Aussies are gaining invincible tag in the shortest format as well!

Posted by   on (September 29, 2012, 14:37 GMT)

Shane watson you are spot on!! If AB continues to hide behind young players,expect many more loses.

Posted by immithegr8 on (September 29, 2012, 14:24 GMT)

gonna be a thriller. My money on SA

Posted by SHANI15121472 on (September 29, 2012, 14:18 GMT)

Sunday 30 september 2012. What a day for Cricket. Hope for A cracking (Kangroos, Proteas) battle before the Meeting of Asian rivals.

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Tournament Results
Sri Lanka v West Indies at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 7, 2012
West Indies won by 36 runs
Australia v West Indies at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 5, 2012
West Indies won by 74 runs
Sri Lanka v Pakistan at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 4, 2012
Sri Lanka won by 16 runs
India v South Africa at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 2, 2012
India won by 1 run
Australia v Pakistan at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 2, 2012
Pakistan won by 32 runs
More results »
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