JOHANNESBURG                 -               Australia off-spinner Ashton Agar took a career-best 5-24, including a hat-trick, as they thrashed hosts South Africa by a massive 107 runs in the first T20I at The Wanderers on Friday. After being sent in to bat, Australia amassed 196 for six in their 20 overs as South Africa struggled with their line and length and missed a number of catches in the field in what was a sloppy display. The home side were in early trouble in their reply when they lost mainstay Quinton de Kock in the first over and it became a precession after that as Agar helped bowl the hosts out for 89, a record low for South Africa.

Steve Smith top scored for the tourists with 45 from 32 balls on his return to South Africa for the first time since the ‘Sandpapergate’ scandal of March 2018, after which he was banned for a year by Cricket Australia along with David Warner. Opener Warner’s return was not as triumphant as he was out second ball for four, but Smith and Finch (42 from 27 balls) put on 80 for the second wicket in only eight overs to lay the platform for the impressive score. South Africa were in early trouble when an excellent swinging delivery from Mitchell Starc uprooted the middle stump of De Kock, before Agar ripped through the home batting. He had top-scorer Faf du Plessis (24 from 22) caught on the boundary, before trapping Andile Phehlukwayo leg before wicket with the next delivery. The hat-trick was complete when Dale Steyn edged his first ball to Aaron Finch at slip.