David Warner returned to the scene of the scandal and played a central role in a victory this time as Australia beat South Africa by 97 runs in the final Twenty20 to clinch the series 2-1 on Wednesday.
The last time Warner was at Newlands he instigated one of the biggest embarrassments in Australian cricket history with a ball-tampering plot in a test against South Africa in March 2018.
Warner's contribution in this game was to top score for the Aussies with 57 off 37 balls to set up a total of 193-5.
South Africa didn't come close.
Mitchell Starc blasted out captain Quinton de Kock (5) and former skipper Faf du Plessis (5) in the first and third overs of the chase. The quick bowler finished it with Kagiso Rabada's wicket and South Africa was all out for 96 in 15.3 overs for a formidable victory for the Australians.
In between Starc's early and late strikes, spinners Ashton Agar (3-16) and Adam Zampa (2-10) knocked the stuffing out of the South African lineup.
Agar, who has already taken a hat trick in this series, nearly had another when he had Anrich Nortje lbw and bowled Lungi Ngidi next ball.
Earlier, Warner and captain Aaron Finch, who hit 55 off 37, put on 120 in their opening stand after South Africa put them in to bat. Australia was ahead from then on.
The series win is a promising start to Australia's buildup to the Twenty20 World Cup in October and November, which will be held in Australia.
South Africa has had a tough season. It lost test and T20 series at home to England earlier this year and drew the one-day series. With just a three-match ODI series against Australia left, the Proteas are in danger of going through a home summer without a series win in any format.
For Australia, the victory may not completely erase memories of the ball-tampering scandal but it might soften them for the team and for Warner and former captain Steve Smith, another man involved in the tampering plot two years ago and who also made his return to Newlands on Wednesday.
Smith made 30 not out in a valuable contribution at the end of the Australian innings. He hit two sixes and 20 runs off the last over. The sixes disappeared over long-on and then an extraordinary lofted drive over extra cover.
Warner and Smith were both banned for a year by Cricket Australia for their roles in the cheating in 2018 and Smith was stripped of the captaincy. They've been back in international cricket for nearly a year now but the return to Cape Town felt like the final step on the road to redemption.
Rilee Rossouw hit an unbeaten 49 and left-arm seamer Sohail Tanvir grabbed 4-13 as the Multan Sultans notched a six-wicket victory over Peshawar Zalmi in their first home game of the Pakistan Super League on Wednesday.
Multan now has two wins from three games and is level at the top of the points table with title defender Quetta Gladiators and two-time champion Islamabad United.
The 2017 champion Peshawar, which was dismissed for its lowest PSL total of 123 in 18.3 overs, lost its second game and has two points from three matches.
Left-handers Rossouw and Khushdil Shah (43 not out off 29 balls) delighted a capacity crowd of 25,000 at the Multan Cricket Stadium with a match-winning unbeaten 77-run fifth-wicket stand as the home team raced to 124-4 off 14.5 overs.
"We executed our bowling plans very well and restricted the opponents," Multan captain Shan Masood said. "The intensity was right there although we dropped a catch off the very first ball, but both our seamers and spinners did a very good job."
After putting up a disappointing show with the bat, the Darren Sammy-led Peshawar struggled with its fielding as well. Sammy dropped James Vince in the first slip off the very first ball.
Rossouw also escaped twice when Rahat Ali dropped a low return catch off his own bowling and Liam Livingstone couldn't hold on to a tough chance in the deep when the batsman reached 46.
"They (Multan) used the conditions to their advantage and now we have to bounce back," Sammy said.
Earlier, after being put into bat, Tom Banton (4) couldn't capitalize after being dropped in the slip off Mohammad Irfan's first ball as veteran Shahid Afridi took a smart catch at short extra cover to dismiss the Englishman in the same over.
Pakistan Under-19 batsman Haider Ali made an aggressive 47 off 27 balls with six fours and two sixes, but once he holed out to Rossouw at deep mid-wicket off Tanvir in the 11th over, Peshawar's innings never got back on track.
Sammy (2) took 12 balls to get off the mark as both spinners Imran Tahir of South Africa and Afridi tied down the West Indian before the Peshawar captain miscued a pull and was caught at mid on.
Tanvir returned for his second spell and claimed the last two wickets as Peshawar finished on a below-par total.
Multan, which plays three matches at home, next faces Karachi Kings on Friday while Peshawar takes on bottom-placed Lahore Qalandars in Rawalpindi the same day.
Along with working with the national team spinners, Bangladesh spin bowling coach Daniel Vettori stepped up to sharpen the skills of the other young and talented spinners who are on the brink of the next step in their careers.
In a sudden move, Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) decided to take advantage of Vettori’s role as the spin bowling coach, who has been passing time in the dressing room of the national team due to the lack of chances to work with the others spinners not included in the national set-up.
The initiative started on Wednesday with four spinners- Nazmul Islam Apu, Aminul Islam Biplob, Hasan Morad and Tanvir Islam. Apart from Aminul, three others are the left-arm spinners. Another left-arm spinner Sunzamul Islam will join them from Thursday.
Nazmul and Aminul have played for the Tigers. While Nazmul represented Bangladesh in all three formats of cricket, Aminul just played a few T20Is. Morad was one of Bangladesh’s main bowlers during U-19 World Cup triumph in South Africa while Tanvir is a familiar face in the BCB high-performance set-up.
“I think it’s just about getting fuel for the young Bangladeshi spinners who are coming up for the next level of cricket. I saw a few of them on television, coming from the U-19 team. My role is not only to help the international player but also the young developing guys,” Vettori told the media at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.
“Most of these bowlers are very skillful. I am lucky that I got to work with them. Actually, we have nothing that big to change around. It’s all about giving them some experience and understanding of how they can develop more,” Vettori added.
BCB appointed Vettori as Bangladesh spin bowling coach back in July 2019 for a 100-day contract, replacing Indian coach Sunil Joshi. The former New Zealand captain receives a remuneration of 2500 U.S. Dollars daily from BCB.
Bangladeshi right-arm pacer Al Amin Hossain on Wednesday said that he is keen to utilize his chance in the ensuing ODI series against Zimbabwe.
The 30-year-old pacer made a comeback after a gap of five years. He played his last ODI back in 2015, also against Zimbabwe.
This time he is set to play against the same opponent in the three-match ODI series starting from March 1 in Sylhet International Cricket Stadium.
“I have returned to the Test and T20 teams recently and done well. Now, I got a comeback call to the ODI team as well. It’s a big opportunity for me. I will try best to utilize this chance by playing a good cricket. If I get chance of playing XI; I will try to give my best,” Al Amin told the reporters at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo recently told that Al Amin is a good choice to play in white-ball cricket. But the pacer said he is upbeat to play all forms of cricket.
“I don’t think I am only for white-ball cricket. A player should be ready to play any format of cricket at any time. And we know the chance comes suddenly in Bangladesh. My plan is to play all forms of cricket,” Al Amin said.
Al Amin was inducted to all three forms of international cricket back in 2013 and 2014. But he failed to establish himself as a core member of the team. Al Amin believes it was not in his hand.
“I was out of the national set-up for a long time. So, I didn’t get enough chance to prove myself as a core member of the Bangladesh national team. I will try my best to change the scenario now, I will try to cement my place in the team,” Al Amin pointed out.
Bangladesh Women’s Cricket team will take on hosts Australia in their second match of the ongoing ICC Women’s T20 World Cup at the Manuka Oval in Canberra on Thursday.
In the first match, Bangladesh lost to high-flying India, who beat Australia to make a good start in the global tournament.
It will be Bangladesh’s first match against the defending world champions Australia.
Before this historic game, Bangladesh star Jahanara Alam said they are ready to display a strong performance against the hosts.
“We will definitely go for a win. What happened in the last match doesn’t matter to us anymore. It’s (losing) also the part of the games. We are looking forward to coming with a strong show in the next game,” Jahanara told the media on Wednesday.
Australia lost their first game against India, but they made a good comeback in the next game against Sri Lanka. But Bangladesh pacer Jahanara said they are not bothered the way Australia play, she instead said they are focusing on their own games only.
“We have seen Australia’s last game against Sri Lanka. We think if we can deliver our best cricket and execute our plans properly, the result might come on our way. We believe in our strength,” she added.
As Bangladesh never faced Australia before, their preparation to face them was not sufficient enough. Salma Khatun and her team prepared to play against Australia just by watching the videos of the Aussie women’s team.
“We watched a lot of videos of the Australian team. This was our only way to prepare ourselves before facing them. This is our fourth World Cup, but we have never played against them before. We understand the preparation by watching video footage is not enough to face a big team who are the defending world champions as well. But we had nothing to do without preparing ourselves with what we have,” Jahanara explained how they prepared to play Australia in the World Cup.
Australian women’s cricket team is not experienced enough to play spin bowling, which might be the main weapon of the Tigresses in this game. However, Jahanara said: “They have a good batting line up. They are strong against both spin and pace bowling. We have a good bunch of spinners. But we are not relying on our spinners only. We just want to play according to the situations. We need to execute our plan to get the result in our way."