13th Match, Group 1, Abu Dhabi, Oct 23 2021, ICC Men's T20 World Cup
(19.4/20 ov, target 119)121/5
Australia won by 5 wickets (with 2 balls remaining)
Player Of The Match

5.50pm And that is all from our coverage of this game. England vs West Indies is underway shortly, so head over there to join Alan Gardner. From Gnasher, Raghav, and myself, it's goodbye.

Finch: The dugout was probably a bit more relaxed than I was. Anytime it comes down to the wire but Stoinis and Wade kept their cool there. It's what experience can do. Maxwell did a really good job. We felt there were good match-ups for him in the powerplay, and then Miller came in and they couldn't go hard, they were in a bit of a holding pattern [so it worked out]. Ideally I would have been able to push him for a third in the powerplay (Hazlewood), he's a world class bowler in any form of the game. People say that's easy in this format but when you get it right on a pitch with variation, it can get tough. There's never been any issue for us - we know people need to rest and I think for the longevity of Australian cricket it's a great thing. Nice to get the experienced guys back because it counts in a World Cup. South Africa as good a fielding team as you get, in a big ground you think you can exploit [but they gave nothing away]. In the end we needed a bit of luck to go our way and we got it.

Bavuma: We want to talk about us being resilient, big effort to the guys getting it to the last over. With the bat - that was definitely not according to plan. Good effort to the bowlers to get it to that stage. I think Australia bowled well, probably barring the fast bowler. They adjusted to conditions, hitting that back of the length. Their spinners too, they didn't give us anything. Credit to Aiden, but as a batting team, definitely not to plan. As much as it isn't a day that didn't go to plan, there are positives to take from it. We spoke about it at half time that we weren't going to leave anything out there.

Hazlewood: I think length was the key, hitting the right length, just on top of the stumps. Anything slightly short or fuller seemed easy, so length was key. The wicket seamed reasonably good, but it was a little bit stoppy, a little bit slow. It plays that way during the day and gets easier at night. We've got a number of allrounder there and Maxi was the man today to bowl the four. It sort of got close in the end but we've got finishers and we were confident in them.

Josh Hazlewood is the Player of the Match.

Michael: "In World Cup's you don't have to win pretty, you just have to win and the boys got the job done today"

Mustafa Moudi: "Never been fan of Stoinis as a Finisher but seems like he has improved in that role. Though this was not as much a tough task but I hope he can finish it for the Aussies in difficult situations too !!"

Samiru: "Markram getting out in the early 18th over cost SA 10 runs or so, and that turned out to be the difference. Shows the importance of a set batter continuing to the last ball on these pitches."

Alex Steinberg: "SA has done well to take this deep. But defending this kind of total requires razor-sharp fielding and we haven't been up to scratch today."

Mohit: "Amazing partnership of 40 in last 26 balls. The difference in the end."

Salman: "SA were always 10-15 runs behind the par score. Good game though. Wouldn't help Aussies run rate cause in this group of death "

Mark Sheridan: "Anticipated result at the halfway stage, but boy didn't that turn out to be a thriller--the beauty of the game!"

James: "As an Aussie its weird having a middle-order you can trust while having a top-order that's a liability"

Todd: "So today we learn that Australia has a top class bowling attack and an extremely fragile and nervous group of batters.Checks out."

5.32pm They were in it, they looked out, and then a repeat before Australia's last two specialist batters have taken them over the line. For Stoinis, a big relief. They've entrusted him with this kind of role over the years and it has paid off and brought them two points to open their campaign. Can be argued it never should have got this far, but it was game with two good bowling units who used the conditions well. They'll be pleased it was 119 they were chasing and not any more. Ultimately, the target was small enough that it wasn't complete chaos in the chase. South Arica showing again that they will never be an easy side to beat in the field, but it was runs that let them down today. A pretty ordinary effort after being put in, and they'll know better than anyone that that's where they lost this game. Lots of work to do yet.

Pretorius to Stoinis, FOUR runs

finishes it off! Full toss at middle stump, just had to get it in front of square with this slog, and he manages to do that. No one at the midwicket boundary and that trickles in

Pretorius to Stoinis, no run

good length and just outside off, driven firmly but straight to mid-off

Looks like midwicket's come in now. 2 off 4. Everyone in the offside is in too. It's a ring field there.

Pretorius to Stoinis, FOUR runs

get out of the way! Absolutely hammered past the umpire. It's a good length ball at off stump at a lovely hitting pace. And a lovely hit is. Deep in the crease for a big swing at it and it's about waist height, but it has whistled past everyone into the straight boundary

Pretorius to Stoinis, 2 runs

they sneak a second from deep midwicket. Loopy slower ball outside off, met on the full and dragged to deep midwicket's right. He's all the way back on that big boundary and can't stop the second

end of over 1910 runs
AUS: 111/5CRR: 5.84 RRR: 8.00 • Need 8 runs from 6b
Marcus Stoinis14 (12)
Matthew Wade15 (10)
Anrich Nortje 4-0-21-2
Dwaine Pretorius 3-0-16-0

Gosh, what an important boundary that was for Australia. They're into the last over now needing 8. Pretorius. Square leg, fine leg, point, third man are in. Is he going slower balls again?

Nortje to Stoinis, 1 run

full and just outside off, shuffles and drives off the toe-end to long-off

Nortje to Stoinis, FOUR runs

drags it over midwicket! Nortje's length is off yet again and this time the field isn't set for it. It's a slower ball, but it's dropped short outside off and gives Stoinis enough time to swing at it. It's off the thick inside edge but it's enough because there's no one in the deep there

Nortje to Wade, 1 run

overpitched and wide outside off, throws his hands at that and gets a thick outside edge on the bounce to deep backward point

Harshal: "Found it really funny that Bavuma is wearing 3 hats and 3 sunglasses, lighter moments during a tense match!"

suresh: "Bavuma's hats are an accident waiting to happen!"

Nortje to Stoinis, 1 run

missed length again but he's set a field for this. Another knee high full toss outside off, can only get it out to deep extra cover

Nortje to Stoinis, 2 runs

dropped in the follow through. Very sharp opportunity, just does well to get a hand on it. He's missed his length again though. This is overpitched at off, front leg out the way and crunched aerially back at the bowler. He sticks out his right hand

Nortje to Wade, 1 run

misses out. Knee height full toss across off stump and Wade has a big slash at it. Helps to have Nortje's pace because this has sliced off the face and to deep backward point

Nortje over the wicket

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