Australia “A”s’ all-rounder John Hastings continued his brilliant form with the ball to help his side beat South Africa “A” team by 60 runs in the second cricket match of the Coca-Cola Challenge triangular series at Harare Sports Club on .
The 25-year-old right-arm fast-medium bowler took his series tally to seven wickets from two matches after grabbing four wickets to help the Aussies dismiss the South Africans for a paltry 154 runs in 33,5 overs while chasing 214 runs.
Hasting was the pick of the bowlers for the Aussies with impressive bowling figures of four for 28 in eight overs, while fellow seamer Luke Butterworth and left-arm spinner Steven O’Keefe chipped in with two wickets.
However, the star of the show has been Hastings who has consistently bowled good line and length in the series.
He took three wickets in one over when the Aussies dismissed the Zimbabwe XI team by 90 runs in the opening match of the series on Wednesday.
The Aussies’ win will be good news to the Zimbabwe XI side as it leaves them with a chance of making it into the final as they will meet South Africa “A” side tomorrow in a match they have to win to brighten their chances.
The Australians’ captain Tim Paine won the toss for the second consecutive match and elected to bat, posting a modest 214 for nine from their allotted 50 overs.
Aggressive opening batsman Aaron Finch top scored for the Aussies with a well compiled 59 runs off 78 deliveries in a knock that included three boundaries and a six and shared a first wicket partnership stand of 52 runs with David Warner.
Initially the total of 214 looked like it would not be enough as the Australians struggled to deal with the pace bowling trio of Vernon Philander, Rory Kleinveldt and Craig Alexander, who all grabbed two wickets apiece.
The South Africans went into the run chase with an overly aggressive style and their skipper Jacques Rudolph fell in the second over after being caught behind off the bowling of Luke Butterworth.
This brought the hard-hitting Roelof van de Merwe to the crease as he raced to 20 off 11 balls before he mistimed Butterworth’s short ball to present a comfortable catch to Hastings at mid-off.
From then on the South Africans could just not construct any meaning partnerships as they lost wickets at regular intervals because of poor shot selection.
Their highest partnership of the match was the 10th partnership stand between tail-enders Kleinveldt who top-scored with 39 runs coming in at number nine and the last man Ethy Mbhalati who chipped in with 20 runs.