Chasing 119, Australia made it difficult for themselves but eventually got over the line with five wickets and a couple of balls to spare in their first match of the T20 World Cup 2021 against South Africa. Skipper Aaron Finch was delighted to get off the mark and praised the calm innings from Marcus Stoinis (24*) and Matthew Wade (15*), who took them home in the end with an unbeaten 40-run stand for the sixth wicket.
"The dugout was relaxed than I was. Quite stressful, and I was nervous. Stoinis and Wade showed a cool head to get us over the line, and that is what a bit of experience can do," Finch said at the post-match presentation.
Josh Hazlewood picked up the player of the match for his spell of 2 for 19 and Finch was quite pleased with his fast bowler's effort. "Ideally I would have loved to push Hazlewood for a third over in the powerplay. He is a world-class bowler. He has accuracy and on a wicket providing variation, it can be tough," Finch, who was dismissed for a five-ball duck, said.
Despite putting up just 119 on the board, South Africa captain Temba Bavuma said that his team never gave up despite putting up a low total. "We always talk about us being resilient and there was an opportunity. Big effort from the guys to get us to the last over. We just didn't get enough with the bat and it was always going to be tough for the bowlers, and it was a good effort from them to get it to this stage," Bavuma said.
"As much as it was a day that didn't go to plan, we can take positives. We showed fight. We spoke during the halftime that we won't give up," he added.
Australia will be looking to make it two in two on Thursday (October 28) in Dubai, while South Africa are in action on Tuesday (October 26) against West Indies once again in Dubai.