Australia’s comeback kid Xavier Doherty claimed a career-best 3-20 before South Africa staged a late rally to score 5-146 in their World Twenty20 Super Eights clash on Sunday night.
Left-arm spinner Doherty was recalled for medium-pacer Dan Christian in a master stroke from Australia’s selectors.
Allrounder Shane Watson, who has already been man-of-the-match three times in the tournament, picked up 2-29 to take his tally to ten wickets in four games.
South Africa had been 5-86 before Farhaan Behardien (31 not out) and Robin Peterson (32 not out) kept the Proteas in the contest with an unbroken 60-run partnership.
The pair smashed 39 from the last three overs of the innings bowled by Watson, Pat Cummins (0-33) and Mitchell Starc (0-30).
Doherty opened the bowling and struck twice in his first seven balls, bowling Richard Levi for a duck and dismissing allround great Jacques Kallis caught behind for six.
Watson broke through in his first over as the Proteas slumped to 3-33 when Hashim Amla (17) was caught behind attempting a pull shot.
Let-hander JP Duminy looked composed as he eased his way to 30 before he was stumped by Matthew Wade off Doherty’s bowling.
Proteas skipper AB De Villiers, who failed to hit a boundary in his 21, was caught at cover off Watson’s bowling at 5-86.
Doherty was dropped after his 0-12 off three overs in the opening match of a three-game T20 series against Pakistan in Dubai earlier this month, missing the next two matches plus Australia’s first three games of their World T20 campaign.
In his five previous T20 International games, Doherty had the unflattering career figures of 1-130.
Christian had taken one wicket in three matches and was conceding 8.42 runs per over.