Shane Watson take Australia to sniffing distance of WT20 semi-final
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Shane Watson's unbelievable run in the ICC World Twenty20 continued as he virtually assured Australia a place in the semi-finals of the event with a comfortable eight-wicket win over South Africa in the their second Super Eights match here today.
Chasing a modest target of 147, Watson once again showed his all-round prowess with a smashing 70 off 47 balls after taking two important wickets as Australia reached the target with 14 balls to spare.
His innings included eight boundaries and two sixes off left-arm spinner Robin Peterson and that fetched him his fourth consecutive man-of-the-match award.
Watson has so far scored 234 runs in four matches at an astonishing average of 78, not to forget the 10 wickets that he has taken.
Watson's 99-run second wicket partnership with the ever-dependable Mike Hussey (45 not out) laid the foundation of the Australian chase.
When Watson finally got out at the team score on 109, the victory was just round the corner.
After Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn had kept the Australians quiet for the first five overs, the counter-attack started in the sixth with Watson hitting Morkel for three boundaries. The first boundary was hit through point, the second through covers and the third one through the short fine leg.
With 15 runs coming from that over, the Australian innings finally got the momentum it required.
There was no stopping Watson after that as he played shots all round the wicket. When Peterson dropped it short, he rocked back to pull it over deep mid-wicket. When Parnel bowled it short, he pulled over square leg for a six which also brought up his third half century in the tournament.
Earlier, leg-spinner Xavier Doherty sparkled with figures of three for 20 to help Australia restrict South Africa to a modest 146 for five.