Australia defeated South Africa by five wickets in the first Super 12s match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
“There are some really good signs from Davey (Warner) yesterday. I think he pulled Rabada for four, he played a beautiful cover drive, he played a great cut shot, and then one held up on him a bit. But they’re good signs for me,” said Justin Langer.
“He’s in as good physical shape as I’ve ever seen him so that’s a very positive sign, (I’m) really confident he’ll come good. And Finchy (Finch), I thought one, Finchy’s captaincy was brilliant yesterday. And he’s another one that, he had knee surgery, it might take a little bit of time for him to get moving. He’s working hard in the nets in his preparation. I don’t think it’s so much a mental thing for Finchy,” he added.
Langer admitted he had nearly chewed his fingernails down to the quick in Saturday’s last-over thriller. But he expects more close low-scoring games as the tournament moves on.
Chasing 119, Australia started off at a low pace with skipper Aaron Finch being sent back by Anrich Nortje without scoring a single run. Following Finch, David Warner and Mitchell Marsh also lost their wickets and by the end of the 7.5 overs, Australia was 38/3.
Steve Smith played an innings of 35 runs in 34 balls and kept the hopes for his side alive. But at the end of the 15.2 overs, Smith and Glenn Maxwell were also sent back, leaving the team’s total to 81/5. It was Stoinis, who in partnership with wicketkeeper Matthew Wade, ended the match with a boundary and took Australia home.
Earlier in the match, South Africa lost early wickets, with Australia’s Josh Hazelwood and Adma Zampa scalping two wickets each.
Australia will now be facing Sri Lanka for their next ICC Men’s T20 World Cup clash on October 28 in Dubai.