Parnell powers Proteas to series draw
Wayne Parnell went from zero to hero as South Africa mounted a brilliant recovery to beat Australia by three wickets and share the Twenty20 series 1-1.
Parnell had been badly punished with the ball, conceding 44 from four overs, including three of debutant Mitchell Marsh's late sixes, as Australia posted 147 for seven.
However, he joined forces with Juan Theron to add an unbroken 64 from 27 deliveries and carry South Africa to victory with five balls to spare at a packed Wanderers in Johannesburg.
Parnell made 29 not out from 11 balls, with three fours and two sixes, while Theron's unbeaten 30 occupied 16 deliveries and included the winning six off David Hussey.
They guided South Africa back from the brink of defeat at 84 for seven with a little more than five overs to go when Heino Kuhn was caught and bowled by James Pattinson, who took 2-17.
Graeme Smith had contributed 24 and Johan Botha 34, but the rest of the batsmen failed before Parnell and Theron, who earlier picked up 2-28, turned the tide.
"I thought to myself if we could get it to the last over we had a chance," Parnell said. "You've got to score quickly towards the end and that's what we've done.
"I'm striving towards (improving with the bat). One game doesn't make you an all-rounder and bowling is still my first priority, so when I next play for South Africa I need to rectify that."
Teenage paceman Pat Cummins, who led Australia to victory in the opening match, impressed in the first part of South Africa's innings, taking the wickets of Colin Ingram and JP Duminy, plus bowling a rare maiden over.
However, he conceded 13, including two wides, from the penultimate over to finish with 2-26 from four overs.
Marsh earlier made 36 from 28 balls, smashing four sixes, before being bowled by Morne Morkel as he went for one final big hit off the last ball of the innings. With Cameron White, Marsh helped Australia recover from an indifferent start.
David Warner faced nine balls before departing for a duck, slicing Morkel to mid-off, and when Matthew Wade was caught behind off Lonwabo Tsotsobe, who claimed 2-11 from four, for 10 Australia were 17 for two.
Shaun Marsh helped the tourists settle with 26 but Hussey managed only 12 before holing out to long-on off Botha.
White got the scoreboard moving with 39 from 26 balls, but he was run out by Parnell to leave Australia 106 for six.
Enter Mitchell Marsh, who punished full deliveries from Parnell with some towering shots, helping Australia add 35 in the final two overs.
Morkel, who took 2-37, surrendered 20 from the last as South Africa appeared to have given themselves too big a mountain to climb.