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1 Aussies lose series continues. on 30th March 2009, 11:40 pm

South Africa beats Australia in T20 series

South Africa captain Johan Botha produced another fine bowling performance to lead his team to victory by 17 runs in the second Twenty20 International on Sunday.

Though clever bowling by Australia had limited South Africa to 156-5, Australia's batsmen could only manage 139-8 in reply as the home side went on to seal a 2-0 victory in the two-match series.

Off-spinner Botha took 2-16 in his four overs, slowing the tourists' progress as soon as he came on to bowl in the middle of the innings.

Botha helped to build the pressure on the opposition batsmen and took the key wicket of opener Michael Clarke in the 11th over of the innings for a 33-ball knock of 27. The captain's other victim was Cameron White, caught in the deep by J.P.
Duminy for 23 with the score on 106 in the 16th over.

Eight balls earlier, Man-of-the-Match Roelof van der Merwe had grabbed the important wicket of David Hussey, caught at point by Herschelle Gibbs for 27 as he went for a big hit. Hussey had struck 88 for Australia in Johannesburg in Friday's match.

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Van der Merwe, making an impressive debut, claimed 1-30 and did well to hold his nerve against Hussey, who had hit him for a six and a four off the two balls preceding his ismissal.

Hussey and White added 38 for the fifth wicket, the biggest partnership of their team's innings.

Australia needed 54 runs to win from the last five overs, but South Africa made it a tall order by conceding only six runs in the next two overs.

Seamer Johann Louw finished with 2-36, claiming two wickets in the final over, while debutant swing bowler Yusuf Abdullah ended with tidy figures of 1-16 in three overs. His victim was Australian captain Ricky Ponting, caught behind for one. The best of the Australian bowlers was Shane Harwood, who claimed the wickets of Duminy and Van der Merwe at a cost only 21 runs. Left-arm seamer Nathan Bracken, who replaced
Mitchell Johnson for this match, was a lot more expensive at 44 runs. South Africa's batting performance was a mixed bag, with opener Herschelle Gibbs hitting 20 off 13 balls before being bowled by Bracken with a slower ball. Gibbs' opening partner Robin Peterson's 34 off 27 balls showed he could be a valuable batsman to move around the order.

Peterson hit three fours and two sixes after a scratchy start, before being bowled by James Hopes.

The biggest partnership of the innings was the 47 off 40 balls for the third wicket between Peterson and Duminy, who hit 23 off 28 balls.

Van der Merwe took a while to settle, but then struck two fours and fours sixes in an entertaining 48 off 30 balls. At times it looked as if he was attempting shots to midwicket, but ended up hitting boundaries on the off-side.

The first one day international between these two sides gets underway on Friday at Durban.

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