Sean Abbott took four wickets and Travis Head made 91 as Australia sweep series.© AFP
Sean Abbott took four wickets and Travis Head made 91 as Australia completed a series clean sweep with a five-wicket win in the third and final T20 International against South Africa at Kingsmead on Sunday. Seam bowler Abbott followed up a player-of-the-match performance in the second match with a career-best four for 31 as South Africa made 190 for eight after deciding to bat first. The left-handed Head slammed eight fours and six sixes in a 48-ball innings before being caught at long-off when just five runs were needed for victory.
Head’s innings was typical of the aggressive approach of the Australian batsmen in dominating all three matches.
“With the power we’ve got in this team it puts pressure on the bowlers,” Head said at the after-match presentation after being named player of the match.
Australia captain Mitchell Marsh was named player of the series after scoring 186 runs off 100 balls and only being dismissed once in the three matches.
“It was not just me, it was a collective effort,” said Marsh.
South Africa put up a slightly better performance after being outplayed in the first two matches, with newcomer Donovan Ferreira hitting 48 off 21 balls in a late-innings assault to take the hosts to a competitive total.
South Africa captain Aiden Markram dismissed Matthew Short with the first ball of Australia’s reply but Head, supported by Marsh (15), Josh Inglis (42) and Marcus Stoinis (37 not out) ensured another comfortable win for the tourists.
The batsmen were aided by some poor South African fielding, with three catching chances going down.
A five-match one-day international series starts in Bloemfontein on Thursday as both teams intensify their preparations for the World Cup in India next month.
“We’re not exactly where we want to be. We hope to get some momentum before the World Cup,” said Markram, who will hand over the leadership to Temba Bavuma for the one-day games.
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