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Hodge Sixes Take Australia Home

David Warner plays a shot
David Warner got the Australia run chase off to a flying start.
©REUTERS/Steve Christo. Picture Supplied by Action Images

Australia 81-5 (Warner 40, Hodge 21no) beat
South Africa 80-1 (de Kock 41no) by 5 wickets
Second Twenty20 International, Durban

Brad Hodge smashed successive sixes in the final over as Australia won a hugely-reduced second Twenty20 International against South Africa in Durban.

It looked for a long time as if the game would go the same way as the first in Port Elizabeth, but the rain relented just in time and the umpires decided on a seven over aside contest. Australia won the toss and asked the hosts to set a target. They picked Brad Hogg ahead of James Muirhead in the spin attack, while the Proteas chose to have a look at left-arm seamer Beuran Hendricks.

The home side made a poor start as Hashim Amla fell for four in Nathan Coulter-Nile’s opening over. However, that was the be the tourists’ sole success as Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis helped them make a useful 80 for one from their seven overs. De Kock ended on 41 off 20 balls, having hit four sixes, while du Plessis plundered two maximums during his 13-ball 27.

Medium-pacers Shane Watson and Dan Christian were the most expensive of the Australian bowlers, conceding 32 runs from two overs between them, while Hogg was the pick, going for just five off his solitary over.

Australia looked like they would cruise to victory in their run chase as David Warner gave them a rollicking start. He smacked 40 off just 16 balls to take the score to 46 for one early in the fourth over. However, his dismissal at the hands of JP Duminy (2-5) triggered a mini-collapse of four for 14, with Duminy accounting for Glenn Maxwell (1) in the same over.

Skipper George Bailey was then run-out for just two, leaving Hodge (21 not out off 8 balls) and Brad Haddin (4 not out off 4) needing to score 15 off the final over bowled by Wayne Parnell. The first two balls yielded just a run apiece, but Hodge launched the next two over the ropes to bring the scores level before a wide from Parnell sealed the win.

The two sides meet for a third and final time in Centurion on Friday when they will hope to get a full 20-over game in as they finalise their preparations for the forthcoming ICC World Twenty in Bangladesh.

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