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
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.
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.
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
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
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?
full and just outside off, shuffles and drives off the toe-end to long-off
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
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!"
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
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
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
18 off 12. Nortje will try hard not to concede any boundaries in this one. Wade will try and take his pace on. It's the same field as last over, short third, point, square leg and short fine are in.
full slower ball, very wide outside off from around the wicket. Gets a strong base on one knee but can't manage to get more power on this boisterous drive. Straight to long-off
slower ball at a length outside off, walks into the line and crunches along the ground to long-on's left
full slower ball outside off, shapes for the ramp again after going a long way into the off side, but is forced to jab this behind point
good length outside off, shuffles and hammers this on the rise to long-off
full and wide outside off, driven firmly to sweeper cover
called wide! Oh that's a close one. Full floaty slower ball just by the tramline. Wade has a hack at it and is beaten. Looked to be under his bat, but was also just past the tramline. Tough call
Pretorius around the wicket now
he shuffles to try and open up the boundary over square leg, but swats this straight to deep midwicket on the bounce. Good length ball wide outside off and he sort of fell into the line there
Pretorius it is. They're taking their time with the field. Short third, point, square leg and short fine the four men inside.
MikeJM: "Salman, you wrote too soon - Rabada had 2 fours scored off him in the last 3 balls!"
superbly done. Expert limited-overs batting from Wade that. Short of a length and across him outside off. He shuffles a long way into the off side but doesn't lose balance or his eyes on the ball. Manages to ramp it wide of short fine
yorker at off stump, squeezed hurriedly into the covers
past mid-off and into the boundary! Not to be this time for Markram. Offcutter at a length just outside off, drives on the up and loses control. But it's to Markram's right and dipping in front of him. He looks for the catch, as is probably right at this stage, but he can't get under that and it bounces away from under him
|Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi|
|Toss||Australia, elected to field first|
|Player Of The Match|
|Match number||T20I no. 1351|
|Match days||23 October 2021 - day (20-over match)|
|Points||Australia 2, South Africa 0|
Over 20 • AUS 121/5Australia won by 5 wickets (with 2 balls remaining)