Ashton Agar became the second Australian bowler to take a hat-trick in T20Is against South Africa on Friday at the Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg. South African batting lineup crumbled against the left-arm spinner’s might as they were bundled out for 89 chasing a target of 197 in the first match of the three-T20I series.
Debutant Pite van Biljon, Andile Phehlukwayo and Dale Steyn were Agar’s three scalps as he took a hat-trick for Australia in the format after 13 years. Before this, Brett Lee was the only Australian bowler to take a hat-trick in T20Is which came against Bangladesh in the inaugural edition of T20 World Cup.
The left-arm spinner took his first five-wicket haul. Pat Cummins and Adam Zampa took two wickets each whereas Mitchell Starc got Australia off to a perfect start by removing Quinton de Kock with a beauty of a delivery. Only three Proteas batsmen managed to score in double digits in the one-sided affair.
Earlier, South African bowlers were taken to the cleaners by Aaron Finch and Steve Smith. Both batsmen missed their half-centuries as they lost their wicket after scoring 42 and 45 respectively. Cameos throughout the innings helped Australia maintain a healthy run rate. Agar’s late flourish (9-ball 20) helped the visitors post 196 for six wickets after they were asked to bat first. The all-rounder was named ‘Man of the match’ for his heroics with bat and ball.
Records tumbled at Wanderers Stadium as hosts were all out with 33 balls to go:
# Agar’s five wickets for 24 runs is the best bowling figures for an Australian bowler in the format. The previous best belonged to James Faulkner who took five wickets for 24 runs against Pakistan in T20 World Cup 2016.
# Agar’s five-wicket haul is also the fourth-best bowling figures against South Africa in T20Is. Pakistan’s Umar Gul, Netherlands’ Ahsan Malik and India’s Bhuvneshwar Kumar have also registered five-wicket hauls against South Africa.
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# This was South Africa’s lowest total in T20Is. Their previous lowest score was 98 against Sri Lanka in 2018.
# This was South Africa’s biggest defeat (107) by runs. Their previous biggest defeat came 14 years ago when they lost to Australia by 95 runs.
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