Agar’s hat-trick, fifer guide Australia to big win
Spinner Ashton Agar grabbed a five-wicket haul as well as a hat-trick to help Australia defeat South Africa by 107 runs in the first of the three-match T20I series in front of a super aggressive Johannesburg crowd on Friday (February 21).
This was Australia’s first game ever since the 2018 tour that is infamous for the sandpapergate scandal involving Steve Smith and David Warner.
Both Smith and Warner were in the match on Friday and they bore the brunt. While Warner fell cheaply for 4, Smith played a solid knock of 45. Agar also showcased his brilliant form with the bat, smashing 20 off 9 balls as Australia posted 196 for six after 20 overs. Aaron Finch also contributed with 42.
Chasing 197, the hosts were in trouble right from the beginning, as they lost four wickets for just 40 runs. But the highlight of the match was yet to come. In the eighth over of the Proteas innings, Agar spun a web around Faf du Plessis, Andile Phehlukwayo and Dale Steyn to register a hat-trick and leave South Africa tottering on 44 for seven.
With this, Agar became just the second Australian to take a T20I hat-trick, as well as the second Australian to take a five-for in the format.
Eventually the Proteas were bundled out in the 15th over for 89, their lowest ever T20I score, falling nine runs short of the 98 they made against Sri Lanka in 2018.
Brief Scores: Australia 196/6 (Steve Smith 45, Aaron Finch 42, Dale Steyn 2-31) defeat South Africa 89/10 (Faf du Plessis 24, Kagiso Rabada 22, Ashton Agar 5-24) by 107 runs.