Cricket Australia Items/news/2012/10/1/australia-cruise-to-victory

Australia cruise to victory

UPDATED 12 February, 2013 2:27PM AEST | 1

Shane Watson starred once again as Australia defeated South Africa to all but secure a place in the last four at the ICC World Twenty20.

Watson took two wickets before blasting 70 from 47 deliveries as Australia reached their target of 147 with eight wickets and 14 balls to spare in the Super Eight clash on Sunday.

The performance saw Watson claim his fourth consecutive man-of-the-match honour, while he now has the most runs (234), most wickets (10) and most sixes (15) at the tournament.

Australia will most likely face England, New Zealand, the West Indies or hosts Sri Lanka in the semi-finals, while South Africa require other results to fall their way to progress.

The Aussies won the toss and chose to field in Colombo, with Xavier Doherty, who replaced Dan Christian, proving a decisive inclusion.

Doherty (3-20) and Watson (2-29) shone with the ball as South Africa were restricted to 146-5 in an innings that featured just two sixes.

Doherty opened the bowling and had the Proteas on the back foot almost immediately, dismissing opening batsman Richard Levi (0) with his second ball.

Jacques Kallis (six) followed soon after, before the losses of Hashim Amla (17), Jean-Paul Duminy (30) and AB de Villiers (21) left the South Africans at 86-5.

Farhaan Behardien (31 not out) and Robin Peterson (32 not out) provided a crucial partnership, combining for 28 runs off the last two overs alone to ensure a competitive total.

Australia were determined from the outset in their reply, with Watson and Mike Hussey (45 not out) leading the charge after David Warner (five) was bowled by Morne Morkel (1-23) in the fourth over.

Watson hit eight fours and two sixes before he was caught by Wayne Parnell off Peterson (1-41) in the 14th over.

Hussey chipped in with two fours and two sixes, while Cameron White (21 not out) added three fours and one six before bringing up the winning runs in the 18th over.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 01 October, 2012 7:36AM AEST

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