“I think our strong play was probably what got us on our way,” Stark said. “There were other important moments during the day with the bat and the ball, but starting the match like that with Joshi and I was great. Powerplay points were probably not our strong option during the tournament, so it’s good to have a strong play of what, 2 for 18 or something Like that. The way Josh bowled throughout to finish with two for 12 (from eight overs) was amazing.
“Looking at Josh’s pitch map – that’s what he does so well in the Test bowling match. He was unbelievable today and the way we ran with each other to get that intensity that we did, and carry some momentum into the middle of the pitch is how we were able to achieve that.” I want to start matches. So it was nice to do that in a big match.”
“We know that South Africa are very strong in defense if they have wickets in hand, and if we can get David Miller and Heinrich Klaasen in early or within the first 20 overs, we are well on our way. “It made it more difficult for them in Block the ball from behind. So, things went as planned with the ball today.”
“I think it was not just the way Trav and Davy batted that put the pressure right on South Africa there in the first 10 overs. We saw throughout the tournament how difficult the first 10 overs were at certain times of the day, with new, powerful balls. “When you are prepared to go into the game like that and sometimes you have a bit of luck, but the players were fantastic in that opening partnership.”
The head innings in particular ensured that Australia made 106 runs – nearly half the runs required – in the first 14 overs. South Africa’s spinners then took wickets and made the game tight, but Australia’s middle and lower orders had little to do.
“Then Trav lasted a little longer and was probably looking a little ominous there to not go further — closer to 100,” Stark said. “We definitely took some pressure off early with the way the guys started. Those runs were much needed with the way we saw the back end of the game. We gave ourselves some extra time so we wouldn’t have to try as hard at the end.”