Australia didn't come on top due to some loose fielding and nervous bowlers in the later stages of the Proteas innings. But we have to admit here that it was a great game in the end!
Sent into bat, on a good batting wicket at the Wanderers, by Johan Botha (Proteas skipper for the evening), it didn't start off well for Aus. Michael Clarke (3) is still being haunted by my guess being wedding planning, and Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey and Brad Haddin didn't have much of a part in the rest of the evening their quick appearances with the bat.
David Hussey (88*) was brilliant! No-one has really seen Huss and what destructive forces he can bring into ODI and T20 cricket with the bat in hand!
He gave all of you a good look last night. I have always found David to be quite unorthodox, and I usually find these players the most exciting to watch in shorter versions of the game. He belted 6 sixes and really gave the ball a damn good swat! Support from David Warner (38) at the top had moments of excitement! He took a while to get the cogs going but once he did he cruised along, but Robin Peterson took a quick caught and bowled to end Warners night! Hope Warner gets some big hits in come Sunday. Cam White and Mitchell Johnson offered brief support at the wicket to assist David Hussey in pursuing a total that would be somewhat defendable!
I liked Huss' quick running, clever placement and total commitment to his shots. Last series for Aus there were lots of complacency issues on his part, and towards the end of the Black Caps series, he began to find the confidence. Things look good for him!
That catch of AB deVilliers was quite a gripper, but he stumbled over the rope, so didn't equate to much on his part as it was a six, but was still an awesome take!
Things started off well when Punter took a steamer catch off a blast from Herschelle Gibbs. I liked the send off he gave Gibbs!
Hashim Amla offered a very valuable knock at the top of the order, but David Hussey got the better of him and van Jaarsveld with his slow spin. His yorkers are perfectly placed and the line he is sending them on makes it quite a battle with bat and ball! Keep it up David! 2/21 in 4 overs in a fine contribution from a 'part timer'!
Brett Geeves did a good job I thought with his first 2-3 overs. Sure, the over at the death was done in two balls, but I do feel his composure out there was great, but it would have helped if he'd taken that catch on the boundary ropes. Couldn't quite pull off one like JP Duminy took back in Aus in the one T20!
Mitchell Johnson, despite a few extras, did a very good job with figures of 1/20 in his 4 overs! I feel that Mitch will find his natural game in this ODI series, where last series he looked tired and in all sorts of bad habits with the ball. His fielding was flawless too, where Michael Clarke oddly looked very off-the-ball, with a few little slip ups here and there.
While you can look at guys like Shane Harwood, James Hopes and Brett Geeves, who all went at over 10 an over, nerves can get the better of you, and when you want to find that yorker, and you can't, the pressure builds, the frustration digs in, the crowd volume increases and before you know it your spells have turned the match inside out! Pity, but it happens!
Result was Mark Boucher and Albie Morkel stole the match, and the Proteas' late innings heroics set them 1-0 up in the two matches of T20 cricket.
I imagine Nathan Bracken will play in the next T20 to just loosen up, and get that freakishly accurate bowling up and running!
Next game will be played on Sunday. Should be another good one, too add to the series excitement and a bit of a good time on my part, it would be terrific if Ricky and the guys could win the next T20 and setup a good foundation going into the ODI series!