Martyn fires Aussie win

Australia has recorded a comfortable 95-run victory in the inaugural Twenty20 International against South Africa at the Gabba.

In front of a loud and enthusiastic crowd of 38,894 - a record attendance since the ground’s redevelopment - the visitors were all out for 114 in reply to Australia's formidable 209-3.

In Australia’s innings, Damien Martyn fell agonisingly short of a century as he plundered five sixes and seven fours in top scoring with 96 off 56 balls, and he was ably supported by Andrew Symonds (54 not out off 26) and captain Ricky Ponting (27).

James Hopes (17) and Martyn scored very quickly in their brisk opening partnership of 57, which ended when Hopes edged to Jacques Kallis at first slip off the bowling of Shaun Pollock (1-34).

That brought Ponting to the crease and he adapted immediately to the big bash format by sailing two sixes over the ropes as he and Martyn saw Australia to 1-92 at the halfway stage of their innings.

Johan Botha (1-43) claimed the prized scalp of Ponting when he holed out to Pollock deep on the leg-side, however Symonds was dropped on 24 by Boeta Dippenaar.

New South Welshman Michael Clarke came out in the final over after Martyn was dismissed, and witnessed Symonds blaze 20 runs - including two sixes, off the final five balls.

The South African run chase got off to a disastrous start when Nathan Bracken (2-9) claimed the wickets of Dippenaar (1) and Herschelle Gibbs (0) within three balls in his second over.

It should have been three for the over, but Martyn dropped Graeme Smith at mid-on when he was only six.

However, Smith (27) was removed soon after by Hopes (2-26) as the visitors struggled to 52-3 after 10 overs.

Shaun Pollock (24) tried valiantly to put the visitors back on track, but when he was caught in the deep off Symonds (2-26) and Jacques Kallis (15) was brilliantly run out by Ponting, the result was a foregone conclusion.

South Africa required 113 runs off the last five overs with only four wickets remaining, but Victorian Mick Lewis (2-18) picked up the last two wickets in consecutive deliveries in the 19th over to seal a fantastic win.

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