Ashton Agar has snared a special piece of history in a bowling display that powered Australia to a big win over South Africa.
David Warner's return to the Bullring lasted just two balls but it mattered little on a night where Agar’s hat-trick steered Australia to a dominant 107-run win over South Africa in their T20 series-opener.
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Agar's inspired spell - just the second hat-trick by an Australian in a T20 international after Brett Lee in 2007 - put the icing on the cake after the tourists were sent into bat in Johannesburg and posted 6-196 from their 20 overs.
South Africa were bowled out for just 89 in reply with Faf du Plessis (24) delivering the only score of note among the hosts' batsmen.
Agar's figures of 5-24 also represent the best for an Australian bowler in T20 internationals.
The Aussie spinner's masterclass ensured the South Africans finished with their lowest ever T20 score and heaviest defeat.
Best figures for @CricketAus in T20Is ✅— Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) February 21, 2020
First international hat-trick ✅
Only the second Aus T20I hat-trick & the first for 13 years ✅
20* from nine balls ✅
Player of the match ✅
Getting the match ball as a souvenir ✅
A decent night for Ashton Agar in Johannesburg!#SAvAUS pic.twitter.com/pjGhhhgC9J
Australian bowlers to pick Hat trick in T20I— CricBeat (@Cric_beat) February 21, 2020
Brett Lee (2007)
Ashton Agar (2020)*
Australia bowl out South Africa for 89 - their lowest ever score in a T20I to win the 1st T20I by a massive 107 runs margin. #AshtonAgar - the wrecker-in-chief for Aussies with a splendid 5 wkt haul including a Hattrick. @CricketAus go 1-0 up in the 3 match series. #AUSvSA— Nikhil Ram (@Nikhil_Rams) February 21, 2020
SA post their lowest score 89 in T20 after aus got 196... Ashton Agar with a hattrick ending up with 5/24 and also hit a crucial 20 of 9 balls... This is also the highest margin of loss for SA in T20Is... #SAvAUS— Rajiv Santhanam ✈✈ (@Rajiv2786) February 21, 2020
Agar had the former skipper caught in the deep before trapping Andile Phehlukwayo lbw for a golden duck.
The Australians erupted in jubilation when the left-arm spinner found Dale Steyn's edge off the next ball and Aaron Finch held the catch in the slips.
Tailender Kagiso Rabada (22) provided some late resistance before Adam Zampa wrapped up the innings with 33 balls to spare.
Unsurprisingly, Agar was named man of the match.
"I am a bit lost for words, really," Agar said.
"It's a feeling you always wanted to have when you were a kid growing up. Doing it out there at a pretty intimidating ground, and against a good team, was really special."
Mixed fortunes for Warner, Smith on South Africa return
Warner (four) and Steve Smith (45) earlier had contrasting fortunes in what was their first match in South Africa since the ball-tampering scandal that cast Australian cricket into turmoil in 2018.
Plenty of focus had been on how the pair would be received at a ground notorious for its hostility towards opposition players.
But the Wanderers had a party atmosphere from the moment Warner holed out at fine leg off the second ball from Steyn.
South Africa's champion quick roared and unleashed a trademark chainsaw celebration as Warner departed, flanked by the team security manager on the long walk back up the tunnel.
Smith's arrival was met with scattered jeers but the loudest boos were reserved for when Steyn sent down a grubber and Smith charged down the wicket to smack it away.
Australia looked set for a monster total at the famously high-scoring ground when Smith and Finch (42) piloted the tourists to 1-70 off the powerplay.
Neither Matthew Wade (18) nor Mitch Marsh (19) lit the world on fire after earning recalls to bat at No.4 and No.5 respectively.
But after a sloppy bowling and fielding display, South Africa's hopes of pulling off a big chase diminished when skipper de Kock fell in the first over to a Mitchell Starc peach which shaped away late and knocked over middle stump.
"It was a really bad loss tonight ... 70 runs off the first six overs put us on the back foot straight away and that's off some really poor bowling," Proteas coach Mark Boucher said.
Game two of the three-match series is in Port Elizabeth on Sunday night.