South Africa have won the first T20 International of the summer, defeating Australia by seven wickets in Adelaide last night.
Queensland debutant Nathan Reardon suffered an inauspicious start to his international career, taken by spearhead Kyle Abbott for just 4 runs, before dropping a crucial catch to gift Rilee Rossouw a second chance early in the South African innings. Man of the match Rossouw was happy to punish the hosts, blasting 78 from 50 balls to guide South Africa to a comfortable victory.
Media Manager for the Brisbane Heat Stephen Gray said that Reardon will prove himself at the international level if given opportunities in the remainder of the series.
“Looking back he’d probably would have hoped for a different outcome, but one thing about him is he did a good job in the Matador One Day Cup for Queensland and he has shown he has skills … he just needs to make sure that when he gets the chance he takes it with both hands,” Mr Gray said.
The hosts were reeling after a top-order collapse to 4/67, but steady hands in the middle order from experienced campaigners Shane Watson (47 from 54) and James Faulkner (41 not out from 44) would guide Australia to a meagre first innings total of 144.
Doug Bollinger struck early to put Australia back on the front foot, removing debutant Reeza Hendricks for a duck with just the third ball of the South African innings.
Australia rallied late, claiming the wickets of Rossouw and de Kock, but ultimately did not have the runs required to make the match competitive.
Australian captain Aaron Finch blamed the defeat on a poor batting performance in post-match comments made to Channel 9.
“I thought we were pretty disappointing with the bat today. It was a beautiful wicket and us guys at the top of the order didn’t go on to get that big score.” Finch said.
The Australians will look to regroup ahead of the second T20 International at the MCG on Friday.