x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Wayne Parnell's bat comes in handy in tied series

Despite helping his side to a three-wicket over win in the second Twenty20 international against Australia in Johannesburg, the South African still believes he is a bowler first.

Wayne Parnell went from zero to hero as South Africa staged a brilliant recovery to beat Australia by three wickets and level their Twenty20 series at 1-1 in Johannesburg.

Parnell had been badly punished with the ball, giving up 44 off his four overs, including three of Mitchell Marsh's late sixes, as Australia made 147 for seven, although he did run out Cameron White, Australia's top scorer, for 39.

But he teamed up with Rusty Theron to pile on 64 runs from 27 deliveries, carrying South Africa to victory with five balls to spare.

Parnell made 29 off 11 deliveries, with three fours and two sixes, while Theron's 30 came off 16 balls and included the winning six off David Hussey from the first delivery of the final over.

They guided South Africa back from the dead as the Proteas had been on 84 for seven with a little over five overs to go when Heino Kuhn went for just three.

Graeme Smith had made 24 and Johan Botha 34, but the rest of the order had failed before Parnell and Theron turned the tide.

"I thought to myself if we could get it to the last over we had a chance," Parnell said in a television interview. "You've got to score quickly towards the end and that's what we've done.

"I'm striving towards [improving with the bat]. One game doesn't make you an all-rounder and bowling is still my first priority, so when I next play for South Africa I need to rectify that."