Rusty Theron and Wayne Parnell shared a 7th wicket stand of 64 to help South Africa seal an amazing three wicket victory to tie their two game t20 international series against Australia at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.
Faced with a victory target of 148, the South African’s had looked out of contention having slumped to a total of just 84-7 in the 15th over before Theron (30) and Parnell (29) led an unlikely comeback for the hosts.
With 63 runs still needed from the final 32 balls, the match looked to be out of the reach of the Proteas but the pair completed an amazing comeback during a record 8th wicket stand for South Africa.
Parnell led the way, smashing 29 runs from just 11 balls, including a boundary and two sixes off the bowling of Steve O’Keefe (1-35) in the 18th over to leave the Proteas needing just 19 runs from the finals two overs.
With the game in the balance, Pat Cummins (2-27) conceded 13 runs from the penultimate over before Theron sealed victory by dispatching David Hussey’s (1-20) first delivery for a massive six to seal victory with five balls to spare.
It proved to be a major collapse for the Aussies who had looked to be coasting five overs early thanks to their new generation of cricketers who had seemingly steered the visitors towards a series winning victory.
19 year old Mitchell Marsh (36) and 18 year old Pat Cummins (2-3 after two overs) played leading roles with the bat and ball to put the Aussies on top with just five overs remaining.
Marsh smashed four sixes, including three in a row off the bowling Morne Morkel (2-37) in the final over to help Australia recover from a poor start to post a challenging total of 147-8.
Cameron White (39) and Shaun Marsh (26) enjoyed vital cameos after David Warner (0) was dismissed cheaply once again to leave South Africa facing a tricky run chase.