Australia cruise to seven-wicket win –

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Australia 3 for 102 (Finch 44*, Parnell 2-17) beat South Africa 7 for 101 (Duminy 49, Faulkner 3-25, Boyce 2-15) by seven wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Australia cruised to one of their most comprehensive Twenty20 wins and kept the series alive after their bowlers restricted South Africa to 7 for 101 at the MCG. Cameron Boyce, Pat Cummins and James Faulkner were all key members of the attack and left little work for the batsmen, who cruised past their target for the loss of only three wickets, with 44 balls remaining.

A slightly disappointing crowd of 21,415 saw their fellow Victorian Aaron Finch register his first home victory as the national T20 captain as he steered the chase with an unbeaten 44 from 30 deliveries.

Ben Dunk was promoted to open with Finch and moved to 23 from 20 balls before he was caught at mid-on off Wayne Parnell, who also picked up the wicket of Shane Watson for 30.

Watson crunched four boundaries off one Ryan McLaren over and gave the fans some entertainment before he was caught trying to launch Parnell over mid-off with 10 runs needed. Glenn Maxwell, fresh from the Test series in the UAE, made a two-ball duck before Cameron White joined Finch to make the result a formality.

South Africa never really got out of first gear after choosing to bat. JP Duminy was the only batsman to pass 20 and the regular fall of wickets robbed them of any chance to build momentum. Only nine fours and one six featured in the innings of 7 for 101, which was comfortably South Africa’s lowest total batting first in a non-shortened T20 international.

That the only extra for the innings was a wide from the first ball of the match demonstrated the discipline shown by Australia’s bowlers. Faulkner finished with three wickets but it was the work of Cummins and Boyce that really troubled the South Africans, Cummins’ pace and Boyce’s flight and turn keeping them from scoring at anything like an acceptable rate.

Cummins finished with 1 for 11 from his four overs, which included a rare maiden, and Boyce collected 2 for 15 from his four. Collectively Australia’s bowlers sent down 58 dot balls from the 120 legal balls delivered, and the sharp work of their team-mates in the field was in stark contrast to the sloppy fielding displayed by the Test team in the UAE over the past month.

Bollinger struck in the first over when Quinton de Kock edged behind and Faulkner broke through in the second when his slower ball drew a return catch off a leading edge from Rilee Rossouw for 12. The next two wickets, Reeza Hendricks for 18 from 22 balls and Farhaan Behardien for 5 off 10, came from their being lured down the pitch by Boyce, missing his legspin and being stumped by Ben Dunk.

David Miller made 11 before he was caught at deep midwicket off Faulkner, and at 5 for 90 from 17 overs the South Africans were clearly on target for a sub-par performance. Only 11 runs came from their final three overs as the Australians tightened the screw even more, and Cummins earned his only wicket when Ryan McLaren top-edged one to fine leg.

Duminy struck the only six of the innings when he launched Faulkner over deep square leg but fell in Faulkner’s next over, was caught by Aaron Finch on the run at long-off for 49. The tail dribbled across the triple-figure mark but 101 was never going to be enough for South Africa to secure the series, which will now be decided in the third and final match in Sydney on Sunday.

Australia cruise to seven-wicket win –