Australia rout South Africa in Twenty20
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Australia rout South Africa in Twenty20

Test discard Martyn almost made first century in Twenty20 history as Australia beat South Africa by 95 runs.

india Updated: Jan 09, 2006 18:25 IST

Damien Martyn blazed 96 runs from just 56 balls as Australia thrashed South Africa by 95 runs Monday in the first Twenty20 international on Australian soil

Martyn clubbed seven fours and two sixes but fell agonizingly short of the first-ever Twenty20 century when he was caught at point off Monde Zondeki in the last over at Brisbane.

Allrounder Andrew Symonds scored an unbeaten 54 off 26 balls as the Australians scored 209 for three in their 20 overs, setting the South Africans 10.5 run an over to win.

Symonds and Martyn put on 84 runs for the third wicket before Zondeki had Martyn caught by Herschelle Gibbs with the score at 187-3 on the first ball of the 20th over.

Symonds, who was dropped twice earlier in his innings, bludgeoned 22 runs off the remaining five balls.

The Australian fast bowlers restricted the South African top order, utilizing the bounce of the Gabba pitch.

Nathan Bracken removed Boeta Dippenaar (1) caught behind and Herchelle Gibbs and South Africa was held to 22 for two after six of their 20 overs.

The South Africans had a revival with Shaun Pollock and Jacques Kallis at the crease, taking 30 runs off 12th and 13th overs from Symonds and Stuart Clarke.

But the challenge was dented in the 14th, when Mick Lewis took a brilliant sliding catch in the deep to remove Pollock off Symonds' bowling and Ricky Ponting ran out Jacques Kallis with a direct hit at the non-striker's end.

South Africa was out for 114 in reply, with Bracken, James Hopes, Symonds and Lewis took two wickets apiece for Australia. "It's been a great spectacle - I haven't done that for a while," said Martyn, who was dropped from Australia's test team after the losing Ashes series. "It's a great opportunity to (score runs quickly) and it's great to get some runs."

The match was played in front of 38,894 fans, the biggest crowd for any sport ever at the Gabba.

South Africa captain Graeme Smith, who put down a regulation catch and managed only 22 with the bat, said his lineup was outclassed.

"I don't think we bowled well enough up front. We were a bit inexperienced at this level and we got shown up," he said. After losing the three-test series 2-0 and going down in the Twenty20 match, Smith is expecting a turnaround in the tri-nation limited-overs series starting Friday in Melbourne. "It's a different game, the 50-over format," he said. "We're looking forward to that."

South Africa is ranked second to Australia in limited-overs cricket.

First Published: Jan 09, 2006 18:01 IST