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Proteas lose T20 series as they collapse to 97-run defeat against Australia

The Proteas collapsed to an 97-run defeat against Australia in the series-deciding third T20 international at Newlands in Cape Town last night

CAPE TOWN - Australia clinched the T20 series against South Africa with a convincing 97-run victory in the third T20 international at Newlands in Cape Town last night.

Set a target of 194 to win the series the Proteas never looked capable of catching the Australian total, losing early wickets before crumbling meekly at the death.

The loss means South Africa have failed to win a fourth series in a row this summer, after losing the Test and T20 series against England and drawing the one-day series.

The Australians would have wondered how they didn’t breach the 200 mark, after a frenetic start by Aaron Finch and David Warner, which saw them batting at more than 12 runs to the over.

Warner and Finch put on 120 for the first wicket before the left-hander was well caught by David Miller off the bowling of Anrich Nortje. Finch followed soon afterward when he was trapped LBW by Tabraiz Shamsi in the 13th over.

The South African bowlers stemmed the run rate with the wickets of the openers and continued to put pressure on the Australian batters.

Matthew Wade and Mitchell Marsh couldn’t match the run rate achieved by Warner and Finch, and slowly the innings stagnated in the latter stages as Lungi Ngidi and Dwaine Pretorius claimed their wickets.

The visitors eventually reached 193 for 5 in their 20 overs – stiff on a wicket that slowed down later in the innings.

South Africa got off to the worst possible start when captain Quinton de Kock was clean bowled by Mitchell Starc in the fourth ball of the innings.

Faf du Plessis joined Rassie van der Dussen at the crease. The pair only put 17 runs before Du Plessis chased a wide delivery from Starc and was caught at third man by Adam Zampa. At 23/2 the Proteas were in heaps of trouble early on. And it didn’t get much better.

Heinrich Klaasen produced some lusty blows and together with Van der Dussen put on 34 runs. Enter Zampa, who claimed the wicket of Klaasen for 22, bowled through the gate in the 8th over. Pite van Biljon lasted just four balls and one run before he too was bowled by Zampa.

Van der Dussen was out two runs later for 24, caught by Zampa at short third man while playing a lap shot over the wicketkeeper’s head. The dismissal of Van der Dussen led to a procession of Proteas wickets until the hosts capitulated for 96 all out, and lose the series 2-1.

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