T20I series: AUS continue fine form ahead of World Cup, beat SA 3-0
The five-time World Cup champions confirmed the series sweep with yet another dominant performance on Sunday as they cruised to a five-wicket victory
DURBAN: Australia have issued a warning ahead of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup with a clinical 3-0 sweep over South Africa in their T20I series, here.
The five-time World Cup champions confirmed the series sweep with yet another dominant performance on Sunday as they cruised to a five-wicket victory on the back of a career-best T20I innings of 91 from opener Travis Head, reports ICC.
Head was adjudged Player of the Match after he smashed eight fours and six sixes during an entertaining 48-ball stay, as Australia chased down South Africa's decent total of 190/8 with more than two overs remaining.
Head was last month named in Australia's preliminary World Cup squad for this year's 50-over showcase and the left-hander showed he could play a big part at the event with his maiden T20I half-century against the Proteas.
"It's nice to be back and contributing," Head said.
"There's been limited opportunities in this format for a while. I'd been struggling a little bit to find my tempo and how I wanted to go about it at the top."
All-rounder Mitch Marsh was named Player of the Series for his 186 runs and the Australia captain could also play a big role in his side's World Cup push in India if he can replicate the hard-hitting form he showed against South Africa.
The series was Marsh's first as Australia's new T20I captain and the 31-year-old was thrilled his side could ease to a comfortable series triumph.
"I'm really proud of a pretty young group coming over here and winning the series 3-0," Marsh said.
"We had a great team effort. We prepared really well, and we took the game on.
"We had a bit of luck at times, but as a team we had the mentality of being really positive."
While South Africa badly missed the services of pace duo Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje throughout the series, white-ball coach Rob Walter was making no excuses for his side's below-par performances.
"There's no running away from it - their batting skill was better than what we had to offer with the ball," Walter said.
"We got a hard lesson in terms of not executing our skills. It was an eye-opener for the bowling unit."
The teams will now get some valuable 50-over practice ahead of the World Cup when they play a five-match ODI series in South Africa. The first match of that series will be held in Bloemfontein on Thursday.