Miller's maiden fifty seizes series initiative for South Africa


David Miller's maiden Twenty20 International half-century led South Africa to a three-wicket victory over Australia in the opening match of their three-game series at Kingsmead.

A career-best 53 not out from Miller kept the Proteas on track to surpass the tourists' total of 157, which they achieved with four balls remaining to take a 1-0 lead.

South Africa opted to leave out paceman Dale Steyn despite his return to fitness, but it was the spin of Imran Tahir (3-21) that ended an electric knock from opener Aaron Finch (40) as they pulled the tourists down from 69-1 to an attainable target.

The Proteas lost AB de Villiers to a golden duck with the very first ball of the chase, but Miller's composure and destructiveness to the on side - where he hit five of his six boundaries, including two maximums - powered the hosts to an opening victory.

Finch was unperturbed by the early dismissal of Usman Khawaja (9), knocking JP Duminy for 24 in his only over, including three successive maximums.

After David Warner (20) took 15 runs off Chris Morris (1-35), he was caught at backward point by Duminy off David Wiese's (2-16) first ball.

Tahir then removed Finch to leave Australia 71-3, and they were struggled to find consistency thereafter, with six batsmen failing to get out of single figures with the efforts of Mitchell Marsh (35) ensuring a more respectable total.

South Africa's innings got off to the worst possible start when they lost De Villiers first ball, Test wicketkeeper Nevill marking his T20I debut with the catch off Nathan Coulter-Nile (3-29).

Faf Du Plessis (40) cleared the ropes three times off Glenn Maxwell (0-16), but the Proteas suffered a double-blow when he was run out immediately after Marsh (1-17) dismissed Rile Rossouw (19) in the 10th over.

A mix-up between Miller and Wiese (13) resulted in the latter being run out, but, with South Africa in trouble at 96-5 the 26-year-old was unperturbed.

With 45 runs required off the final 30 balls, Miller slammed a pair of sixes from Andrew Tye (1-45) over deep midwicket and deep square leg.

Although Morris (8) was caught at extra cover, Kyle Abbott (6 not out) drilled a four straight down the ground to hand South Africa the initiative and make it six T20Is unbeaten.