With the series level at 1-1, South Africa and Australia will be keen to give it their all in the deciding T20I in Newlands, Cape Town.
South Africa v Australia, 3rd T20I
Newlands, Cape Town
Wednesday, 26 February; 6:00pm local, 4:00pm local
Going into the final game, both teams have questions to answer. While Australia’s top order is one of the most dangerous units in world cricket, the middle order isn’t quite as seasoned and can be susceptible under pressure, as was the case in the previous game.
For South Africa, the middle order remains a concern as well. Rassie van der Dussen played a useful hand from No.4 in the previous game, and the hosts will hope that he can continue in a similar fashion. In the bowling department, there is a tendency to blow hot and cold, and if the unit is able to string two good games together after sparkling in Port Elizabeth, it will be a source of a lot of confidence.
South Africa haven’t won a bilateral series in any format since March 2019, when they won a T20I series against Sri Lanka at home. They will be desperate to end that streak when they face Australia in Newlands.
Remember the last time
Captain Quinton de Kock led the way for South Africa with a 47-ball 70 and Rassie van der Dussen chipped in with a 26-ball 37, but disciplined bowling from Australia, including a spell of 2/21 from Kane Richardson, helped contain the hosts to 158/6. Australia, led by David Warner, seemed in control of the chase at 124/2 in the 16th over, requiring just 35 runs from 28 balls at one stage, but the wicket of Alex Carey sparked a slide. South Africa’s bowlers bowled tight to the incoming batsmen and even Warner wasn’t able to do much to break the shackles, finishing unbeaten on 67 off 56 balls, as Australia were restricted to 146/6.
What they said
Andrew McDonald, Australia stand-in coach: “Justin [Langer] wants the players to be flexible. We’re training them to be flexible, and most of the time, these guys have batted in all different situations and positions in the order.”
Lungi Ngidi, South Africa bowler: “There have been a lot of situations where we have been tested at the death. The chat has just been to have confidence in the skills that we have. We have done it before and to go out there and actually back and trust your skills.”
The weather is expected to be pleasant, and while overhead conditions might be cloudy, the chances of showers aren’t very high. The pitch tends to make for an even contest between bat and ball.