David Warner makes triumphant return to Newlands in big Australia win


David Warner and Steve Smith enjoyed a winning return to Cape Town, piloting Australia to a 2-1 victory in the T20 series against South Africa. Returning to the scene of the ball tampering scandal, Warner (57 off 37 balls) and Steve Smith (30 not out off 15) starred with the bat before Australia ripped through the lacklustre Proteas for 96 in response to the tourists’ 193-5.

The commanding 97-run win means Australia have now won four straight T20 international series after clean sweeps of India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan last year. South Africa, in contrast, haven’t won a series in any format since March 2019. Australia also have T20 fixtures in New Zealand and England to come but they look to be in rude health ahead of hosting the World Cup in October.

Ashton Agar (3-16), Mitchell Starc (3-22) and Adam Zampa (2-10) were among five wicket-takers for the tourists at Newlands, reinforcing their impressive depth. Starc, for the second time in the series, knocked over de Kock’s middle stump before accounting for the badly out-of-form Faf du Plessis. Agar very nearly had his second hat-trick in three games after bowling Lungi Ngidi for a golden duck.

Smith, batting at No 5 in a retooled line-up, provided the fireworks when he smacked two sixes off the final over in a valuable late cameo. He would have been out for six when he was clean-bowled by a Kagiso Rabada yorker but the Proteas spearhead was called for a front-foot no ball. Warner earlier combined with Aaron Finch (55) to give an unchanged Australia a dream start, racing to 0-75 off the powerplay against the lackustre Proteas.

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The tourists made the surprise move to send Matthew Wade and Mitch Marsh in at No 3 and No 4 respectively after their strong start. Wade’s ineffective series continued when he was dismissed for 10, while Marsh (19) successfully challenged an lbw dismissal but holed out in the deep soon after.



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