Hussey, White guide Aussies to victory

Published: Wednesday, January 14, 2009, 11:08 [IST]
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Hussey, White star in Australia's T20 win

Brisbane: Australia all-rounder Cameron White blitzed a thrilling 40 not out to bring Australia back from the brink to win the second Twenty20 international against South Africa in Brisbane.

Chasing 157 for five, the hosts appeared to be struggling when two outstanding pieces of fielding - to remove Ricky Ponting and David Hussey - appeared to hand the Proteas the initiative.

But a hardworking innings from Michael Hussey (53no), who received an early reprieve, and White's devastating 18-ball cameo, which included four consecutive boundaries off Wayne Parnell, saw the hosts home with seven balls to spare.

JP Duminy had earlier steered South Africa to a competitive total with a well-timed 69no.

Defending his side's 157, Johan Botha opted to open the bowling with his own off-spinners - a bold move which paid immediate dividends when the first over of the reply went for just one.

Dale Steyn started from the other end and was treated with less respect, Shaun Marsh using the pace of the ball to pull him over long leg for six.

But, as in the South Africa knock, runs did not flow easily early on.

Indeed, David Warner, whose thrilling 89 lit up the first match, was unable to find his stride at all.

He had mustered seven runs from 12 deliveries when a fizzing Steyn yorker beat the bat and ricocheted into the stumps.

Marsh was next to go, playing on the up against Morne Morkel but failing to beat the infield to make it 29 for one with 6.1 overs down.

Mark Boucher missed a stumping chance against Michael Hussey early in his knock and the batsman seemed to thrive after his slice of luck, finding the ropes three times in quick succession to join Ponting in the twenties.

The chase was gaining some momentum, with Ponting piercing the off-side field with two majestic cuts for four.

But two brilliant pieces of fielding turned the game firmly in the tourists' favour.

First Morne Morkel ran out Ponting (38) with an athletic dive and throw and then Duminy pocketed an exceptional catch over his shoulder in the deep to remove David Hussey for two.

The 24-year-old mis-judged another difficult chance as the climax approached, coming in a shade too far before seeing White's shot go over his head for four.

The all-rounder then smashed Parnell's next three balls to the ropes to hammer home the mistake and make it advantage Australia.

Michael Hussey brought up his 50 with an ugly-looking mow into the outfield when the unfortunate Parnell was unable to take a difficult catch. It was his side's last chance.

Australia needed nine off the last two overs, but White ensured it was all over with seven balls to go, smiting Morne Morkel for a flat-batted four down the ground and a huge six to end it in thrilling fashion.

Earlier, South Africa battled back from a laboured start with a total built around Duminy's classy knock.

Opener Herschelle Gibbs was quickly frustrated at his lack of fluency and, with six to his name from 12 balls, he fetched a good length ball high into the leg side, with Michael Hussey grateful to take the catch.

Gibbs' opening partner Hashim Amla had been going along slightly better on his Twenty20 debut, but his run-a-ball 26 was ended when he horribly mis-timed a pull off Ben Hilfenhaus straight to White at mid-on.

That brought Vaughn van Jaarsveld to the crease alongside Duminy, but he found himself trapped leg before for a golden duck as he looked to sweep David Hussey.

Duminy gave the innings some much-needed impetus when he scooped the first ball of the 14th over into the stands for six.

That momentum was soon undone when Boucher also tried to go aerial but succeeded only in lofting his drive into Shaun Tait's hands to give James Hopes a second wicket.

Albie Morkel produced a couple of mighty swipes before falling for a rapid 19, with Duminy keeping the scoreboard ticking along while new partner Neil McKenzie looked lethargic.

But Duminy was happy to go alone, hitting 12 runs from the final three deliveries, including a powerful straight six to close with 69 from 41 balls.

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