South Africa v Australia, 3rd T20, Centurion March 13, 2014

Teams hope for full game in series finale


Match facts

March 14, 2014
Start time 1800 (1600GMT)

Big picture

Centurion is a long way from Chittagong but it is the last place South Africa and Australia will meet before they go in search of a piece of ICC silverware neither has won before. It was also the first place they met on this tour, little more than four weeks ago.

Since then, Australia have announced their threat as a Test team by beating the top-ranked side in their own backyard; a man who served his country for 12 years and led them for 11 - Graeme Smith - retired; the two boards are in talks to lengthen future Test series to four matches and a T20 series that seemed destined to be washed out managed to squeeze in 14 overs in Durban. Both teams will want nothing less than another 20 overs as they finalise their preparations for the World T20.

As much as that tournament will be at the back of both camps' minds, so will the competitive streak between both sides. It doesn't matter what the occasion, these teams manage to bring out the best and worst in each other. It took only an hour of intensity at Kingsmead to prove that.

South Africa posted the highest seven-over total, which required Australia to score at almost two runs a ball to win. They managed, despite losing two wickets in an over that went for just five runs. Despite the rain and the gimmicky nature of a shortened match, it was a contest worth watching and this one is expected to be no different.

Centurion is where it all started for Australia and is where it will end for both teams, until next time.

Form guide

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

Watch out for

South Africa's finishers did not have the opportunity to get into the game at Kingsmead with the top three doing all the batting. Albie Morkel, in particular, will be anxious for crease time having not played international cricket for 18 months before doing only fielding duty in Durban. AB de Villiers, JP Duminy and David Miller will also want the opportunity to see how they can end innings off for South Africa.

Having only played the third Test, bowled one over in the second T20 and batted for 11 minutes Shane Watson will be keen to make his presence felt. With the news that he will captain Rajasthan Royals in the IPL and his own tough talk about his country's chances at the World T20, Watson will want to show he can also walk the walk before the tournament begins.

Team news

Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel are still in the final stages of recovery following injuries and are unlikely to feature for South Africa again. That will mean Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Wayne Parnell and Beuran Hendricks will share the bulk of the seam bowling duties with Kyle Abbott, who is not included in the World T20 squad, unlikely to feature. De Villiers could be back after being rested from the Durban match which will mean no place for Farhaan Behardien and South Africa may want to field a specialist spinner to give Imran Tahir game time before the big event.

South Africa: (likely) 1 Hashim Amla, 2 Quinton de Kock (wk), 3 Faf du Plessis (capt), 4 AB de Villiers, 5 JP Duminy, 6 David Miller, 7 Albie Morkel, 8 Wayne Parnell, 9 Beuran Hendricks, 10 Lonwabo Tsotsobe, 11 Imran Tahir

Australia will not want to tinker too much with a batting line-up that has been rejigged to include David Warner and Watson. With Brad Hogg fit, there may not be room for another spinner in James Muirhead and Moises Henriques could also find himself on the sidelines again.

Australia: 1 David Warner, 2 Aaron Finch, 3 Shane Watson, 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 George Bailey (capt), 6 Brad Hodge, 7 Brad Haddin (wk) 8 Brad Hogg, 9 Dan Christian, 10 Mitchell Starc, 11 Nathan Coulter-Nile

Pitch and conditions

With wet weather dominating the build-up, the pitch would have had to have been prepared under a tent and ever-present moisture could mean a tricky batting track. South Africa's Highveld has been hard hit by rain over the last two weeks, but Friday is forecast to stay dry, despite being cool and cloudy. There's a strong chance a full game will be played which will ensure the South African international summer ends on a high note.

Stats and trivia

  • South Africa and Australia have played three two-match T20 series (which is effectively what this one has become) against each other in the past. They've each won one series with the most recent one, in 2011, being shared with one victory apiece
  • SuperSport Park is the venue where the record for the highest first-wicket partnership in any T20 was achieved. Graeme Smith and Loots Bosman smashed 170 against England in November 2009 and managed that off just 13.1 overs


"There's always a lesson no matter how many overs you play. Australia won the game and deserved to do so, but I wasn't too disappointed about the way we played."
South Africa's coach Russell Domingo was pleased his players got some game time in Durban ahead of the World T20

"Anytime when you get to put yourself under pressure, it's good. I'm just here to complement those guys up the top and use my experience."
Brad Hodge enjoyed being at the business end of the seven-over shootout in Durban

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 14, 2014, 15:28 GMT

    sa win in every situation

  • Dummy4 on March 14, 2014, 14:35 GMT

    Inzamam Patel I actually agree....coz watto was man of the series last time....and he was playing opener with warner...they were most successful one in whole yes he should open...

  • Android on March 14, 2014, 10:10 GMT

    Watson should go at the top.

  • Android on March 14, 2014, 10:07 GMT

    I think Watson should go at the top of the batting order with Warner as they were doing in 2011.

  • Richard on March 14, 2014, 7:57 GMT

    A bowl-off? Warner, Finch, Hodge, Maxwell, Bailey, Faulkner, Coulter-Nile, Haddin, Watson, Hogg, Muirhead.

  • Richard on March 14, 2014, 7:31 GMT

    I thought the last game was far too long. Seven overs is far too long to watch a game with the fast pace of modern life. Seven over cricket is a dinosaur, the four over game is the future and the best way to spread the game.

  • rob on March 14, 2014, 6:54 GMT

    I'd love to see Muirhead instead of Hoggy tonight. We know George, have for 20 years now and we know we can rely on the old boy to do his job. Muirhead is basically untried and an unknown quantity at international level though. I think they should play him now. It's still a T20I but it's missing the pressure of a world cup match so I can't see a better opportunity to see how he goes in the company of the big boys.

  • Sam on March 14, 2014, 6:38 GMT

    My teams for 3rd T20I: SOU XI: 1 De Kock (WK) 2 Amla 3 Du Plessis (C) 4 De Villiers 5 Duminy 6 Miller 7 A Morkel 8 Parnell 9 Hendricks 10 Tsotsobe 11 Tahir AUS XI: 1 Warner 2 Finch 3 Watson 4 Bailey (C) 5 Hodge 6 Maxwell 7 Christian 8 Haddin (WK) 9 Coulter Nile 10 Starc 11 Muirhead For SOU: I agree, Amla isn't suited for T20s for me as well. He has improved in this format though. But he's a boundary hitter & rotates strike when he can but not a dasher. Kallis has retired only from tests (which I thought he should have continued) but is available for ODIs & T20s. If Kallis was there with all his IPL T20 experience, a wicket taking bowling option would have opened up. If you've noticed, now the 5th bowling duty of SOU will be shared by Duminy (he's capable) & A Morkel (often expensive, I only back his power hitting). FOR AUS: I'm tempted to give Muirhead a run in place of Hogg. He has begged crucial wickets in the Eng T20s & very exciting legspinner. I wanted M Marsh for Christian 4 WT20

  • Android on March 14, 2014, 6:31 GMT

    after watching the replay on tv last night, noticed that when faf took the catch to dismiss maxwell he never actually entered the field restriction circle as the shot was hit reasonably well and as most fielders start their walk in outside the circle shouldn't that technically be a no ball, not that it affected the outcome of the game but with the world cup upon us it would be a shame for a game to be decided like that

  • ESPN on March 14, 2014, 6:23 GMT

    @chris somebody should have told u that kallis will play upto wc2015

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