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Miller fifty guide South Africa to thrilling three-wicket win

Kyle Abbott (left) and David Miller (right) celebrating the victory.
Kyle Abbott (left) and David Miller (right) celebrating the victory.
©REUTERS / Action Images

South Africa 158-7 (Miller 53no) beat
Australia 157-9 (Finch 40) by three wickets
First Twenty20 International in Durban

After losing five wickets inside the first 10 overs, South Africa were rescued by David Miller who smashed an unbeaten fifty in a chase of 158 runs to give the Proteas a three-wicket win over Australia in the first Twenty20 International in Durban.

Australia won the toss and opted to bat first. Aaron Finch (40) got going with a boundary and a six within the first three overs.

However, Usman Khawaja (9) holed out to deep square leg off Kagiso Rabada (2-26) in the third over. In the fifth over, Finch took JP Duminy (0-24) apart for three sixes and a four while David Warner (20) dispatched Chris Morris (1-35) for two fours and a six to end the powerplay with the score at 69 for one.

In an attempt to guide a David Wiese (2-16) delivery past point, Warner was caught by Duminy while Finch fell in the eighth over, caught at mid-wicket while attempting to negotiate a full toss from Imran Tahir (3-21).

Glenn Maxwell (17) was dropped by Quinton de Kock off his first delivery and went on to hit two fours as Australia reached 89 for three at the halfway mark.

Steven Smith’s (6) struggling stay at the crease ended when he feathered a nick to the wicket-keeper off Wiese while Morris struck in the 12th over to see the back of Maxwell. Australia were 97 for five at that stage.

Mitchell Marsh (35) played a flamboyant cameo as the rest of the batting line up collapsed in an attempt for quick runs.

Australia eventually ended up with 157 for nine in their 20 overs. Tahir was the pick of the bowlers with three scalps.

South Africa were jolted early as AB de Villiers (0) nicked a delivery to Peter Nevill off the first ball of the innings from Nathan Coulter-Nile (3-29).

De Kock (7) was also sent back early as he gave Coulter-Nile an easy return catch. Faf du Plessis (40) smashed two fours and a six in the fifth over but Andrew Tye (1-40) saw the back of Duminy (5) in the final over of the powerplay.

After six overs, South Africa were placed at 45 for three. Rilee Rossouw (19) and du Plessis were looking to put a good stand but South Africa lost the plot completely in the 10th over, where they lost two wickets.

Marsh (1-17) got Rossouw caught at backward point while du Plessis was run out attempting a quick single.

At the halfway mark, South Africa were struggling at 73 for five, still needing 85 to win. After another messy mix-up in the middle of the pitch, Wiese (13) was run out in the 13th over.

A 39-run stand between Morris (8) and Miller (53 not out) provided some respite for South Africa. Miller hit two sixes in the 16th over but Australia pulled it back with the wicket of Morris in the next, thanks to a superb catch from Finch.

Miller went on to strike two more sixes before completing his maiden T20I fifty in 33-balls.

With five runs needed from the final over, Kyle Abbott (6 not out) struck a boundary down the ground to complete a three-wicket win.

This win gave South Africa a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Miller was the man of the match.

© Cricket World 2016