Recent Match Report – England vs South Africa 1st T20I 2022

England 234 for 6 (Bairstow 90, Moeen 52, Ngidi 5-39) beat South Africa 193 for 8 (Stubbs 72, Hendricks 57, Gleeson 3-51) with 41 runs

Jonny Bairstow scored a career-best 90 and Moeen Ali scored England’s fastest T20I fifty as the hosts took their second-highest score in the format in a high-scoring clash. As a result, South Africa was asked to complete their most successful pursuit and stayed there until the 18th, thanks to the first international innings by Tristan Stubbs in his third game. He scored a 28-ball 72 and shared in the stands 65 with Heinrich Klaasen and 50 with David Miller, but it wasn’t enough.
Bairstow continued a golden 2022, which was crowned by four Test centuries, and was split into two explosive stands. He put 71 in 45 balls with Dawid Malan, but that was just the beginning. Bairstow and Moeen looted 101 in 35 balls, the second fastest century in a T20I, at a rate of 18.17. In the process, England hit 18 sixes, their most in a T20I. South Africa responded with half that number, eight from Stubbs’ bat.
In hindsight, South Africa can blame their field play for their defeat in this match. They dropped Bairstow three times, two of which were simple catches, which will lead to questions about their ability to handle pressure. The same could be asked of their attack, who seemed startled by the short, straight boundaries, bowled too short and lost their form. Andile Phehlukwayo got the second most runs from a South African in a T20I and Lungi Ngidi took the most expensive five-for, a career-best 5 for 39.
South Africa may have been stunned, more so when they were reduced to 7 to 2 in the second left of the answer. But Reeza Hendricks showed some courage with his eighth T20I-fifty and Stubbs proved the find of the night, albeit not enough to win.

Are we worried about Jason Roy?

A question that seems moot given the way England batted, but let’s go there. Roy has only scored one fifty in nine T20I innings this year and has been fired in single digits five times, including today. Ngidi’s slower ball had the better of several batters in recent months and he delivered a particularly skilled ball in his second, leaving Roy thinking he could swing over the offside. He had no explanation for the lack of pace, got through the shot early and only ended up with a nasty swipe to be about to be caught. England were 41 for 2 in the fifth over.

It seems those lunges with Sam Curran on his shoulders helped Bairstow build extra strength for his T20 game. He went ahead with Roy’s firing by targeting South Africa’s spinners. His first boundary came with a pull from Keshav Maharaj through mid-wicket and his second, a smash by cow corner that was hit so hard that Heinrich Klaasen didn’t pick it up as it sailed over his head. Shamsi also took a tonk on his next, when Dawid Malan slammed him over extra cover and when Bairstow flattened him for four and hurled him to the stands on the legs to bring England halfway through at 98 for 2. Bairstow went on to finish his eighth T20 fifty, from 36 balls, in his first T20I of the year. It’s also Bairstow’s first fifty in ten T20I innings, and he’d only had one (tough) chance at the time, Bairstow was then dropped on 56, 72 and 77.

Welcome, Tristan Stubbs

Chosen as a big hit batter, Stubbs had yet to encounter a ball in international cricket (he didn’t bat in the first two games he played) before his offspin was called into action. South Africa entered the game with just five frontline bowling options and no Aiden Markram, so when David Miller wanted to try something different, Stubbs was his only choice.

Miller picked a pressure moment, with England at 148 for 3 after 15 overs, to introduce Stubbs and his first two balls went well before Bairstow smoked his third ball long-on and then tried to clear a deep middle wicket but succeeded not getting enough to go over the square border. Rilee Rossouw ran in and got to the ball, but it slipped through his fingers. Bairstow was 56 and Stubbs’ nightmare wasn’t over yet. He was called up for a back-foot no-ball on what should have been the last ball from the over. Moeen Ali hit him for six, but luckily the free hit only resulted in two runs.

Stubbs cost more than 20. But he more than made up for it with a powerful display that might have made the headlines on another day. Stubbs hit eight sixes and two fours in the 28 balls he faced and gave South Africa a new finishing option.

And welcome back, Rilee Rossouw

After a nightmare in the field including that Bairstow drop, Rossouw didn’t give himself a chance to make up with the bat. He drew the second ball he saw, but then tried to cut the fourth and went from above to the third man to leave for four. After six years out of the national team, and a great season in the T20 Blast with Somerset, that’s not the return Rossouw would have liked to make, especially as it gave Reece Topley a second wicket in his opening over and left South Africa with a huge job to do.
If England were concerned about the carpet being pulled from under them, Chris Jordan made sure to tie it up tightly with an exceptional third over, South Africa’s 18th innings. Jordan defeated the Yorker three times and tested Phehluwayo with an outswing to deny South Africa a border for the first time since the 11th and effectively end the game. South Africa needed 54 runs from 18 balls before his over and 51 from 12 balls after. He also threw the last one over, finishing 0 to 30.

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