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South Africa square series in thriller



South Africa has ensured there will be a decider in the three match T20 series against Australia, winning the second match by 12 runs at St George's Park in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.


The Proteas won the toss and chose to bat, posting 4/158 thanks to a blistering knock of 70 from captain Quinton De Kock from just 47 balls.


Rassie Van Der Dussen contributed 37 but the innings lost momentum in the death overs, Kane Richardson the pick of the Australian bowlers with 2-21 from his four overs.


The visitors got off to a flying start of their own thanks to David Warner and Aaron Finch reaching 48 without loss inside five overs.


Lungi Ngidi bowled Finch for 14, but Steve Smith joined forces with Warner and the pair appeared to be guiding the chase at 1-98 in the 13th over.


A superb diving catch from Faf Du Plessis off Dwaine Pretorious saw Smith on his way for 29, Warner reaching his fifty but losing fluency.


He was losing partners too as Alex Carey (16) and Mitchell Marsh (6) fell as the asking rate climbed, Matthew Wade and Ashton Agar only able to contribute a solitary single each.


Warner fought valiantly as he finished unbeaten on 67, Anrich Nortje conceding only three runs from the final over as South Africa levelled the series with a hard fought win.


De Kock was awarded the player of the match, and praised his bowlers ability to defend a total.


"Our death bowling had struggled a little bit. They came here and bowled really well, stuck to their plans." he told SuperSport post match.


Australian captain Aaron Finch said his side lost their way in the final overs.


"Both teams bowled well at the end, not ideal but a great game still. Our middle order trying to get a bit more time there... it would have been nice for them to get that winning feeling."


The third and final match is at Cape Town on Thursday.


IMAGE: ESPN Cricinfo.

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