Thanks to hat-trick by Ashton Agar, Australia handed South Africa a resounding 107 runs in the first T20I match played at Wanders Stadium, Johannesburg on Friday.
South African captain Quinton de Kock won the toss and decided to field first. It was an ideal start for the hosts as Dale Steyn dismissed David Warner off the 2nd ball. Aaron Finch and Steve Smith looked in sensational form with superb stroke play and taking on South African pacers. Kagiso Rabada who made a comeback after a ban was smashed by both experienced Australian batsmen. At the end of six overs, Australia raced to 70 for 1.
After the power play overs, Shamsi was bought into the attack. Smith and Finch continued their positive intent taking the attack to South African bowlers. Shamsi struck to get rid of Finch for 42. Finch and Smith added 80 runs for the 2nd wicket. Matthew Wade coming at number 4 looked edgy with his stroke play. After being smashed for a boundary, Steyn struck to get the wicket of Matthew Wade to lead South Africa comeback. Shamsi did the job for South Africa again to dismiss the dangerous Smith for 45. Alex Carey and Mitchell Marsh provided the impetus for Australia with 50 runs stand for the 5th wicket. Carey was dismissed by Lungi Ngidi for 27. Ashton Agar and Mitchell Starc hit 17 runs off the last over to help Australia post 196 for 6 in 20 overs. Both added 25 runs off 9 balls for 7th wicket.
Mitchell Starc produced a beauty of delivery to get rid off South African captain Quinton de Kock. South African batsmen struggled against the pace and bounce of Australian bowlers. The experienced Faf du Plessis used some innovations. Rassie Van der Dussen and Jon Jon Smuts were dismissed cheaply as South African struggled with their batting. At the end of six overs, South Africa were 38 for 3.
After the power play overs, Adam Zampa was bought into the attack and dismissed David Miller to put South Africa under more pressure. Ashton Agar produced a brilliant hat-trick to dismiss du Plessis, Phehlukawyo and Dale Steyn to derail the South African batting line up. Kagiso Rabada provided the entertainment with 22 runs but was not enough as the hosts were bowled out for just 89 in 14.3 overs.
Australia 196 for 6 in 20 overs (Steve Smith 45, Aaron Finch 42, T Shamsi 2/31, Steyn 2/31) beat South Africa 89 in 14.3 overs ( Faf du Plessis 24, Kagiso Rabada 22, Ashton Agar 5/24) by 107 runs.
For his brilliant hat-trick, Ashton Agar was awarded the man of the match. Australia takes a 1-0 lead in the 3 match T20I series. The 2nd match will be played on Sunday at Port Elizabeth