South Africa blow England away to clinch series


This was Shamsi's first T20I fifer.

This was Shamsi’s first T20I fifer. © AFP

A clinical appearance from South Africa helped them finish the T20I series against England with a comprehensive 90-run win at The Rose Bowl in Southampton on Sunday (31 July). Reeza Hendricks and Aiden Markram struck for half a century as skipper David Miller came in dead with a light 22 out of 9 to propel South Africa to 191/5. England’s innings were torn apart by South Africa’s spin, with Tabraiz Shamsi taking his maiden fifer, while the hosts lost eight wickets to the slower bowlers to be bowled out for 101.

South Africa penetrates early

Jos Buttler hit a pair of fours while Jason Roy got bonus runs from an overthrow. But the England captain fell into the power play again, this time rejected for 14, after cutting a catch to short third man to give Keshav Maharaj a wicket in the fourth over. Roy’s half-century wait in limited overs cricket was further extended when he fell on a short ball from Anrich Nortje and pushed it to the keeper. With the exception of the two fours coming out of Buttler’s bat, the South African bowlers kept the score in check as England could only get 39 in the power play.

Have things improved for England?

No. South Africa further tightened their grip on the game with quick wickets. England’s struggle for borders continued, with mounting pressure resulting in regular strikes. Dawid Malan had a calm start and in his attempt to break the buoys he fell to Andile Phehlukwayo by handing a catch in the deep end. An excellent dive catch from Tristan Stubbs resulted in Moeen Ali’s wicket to Markram. Liam Livingstone also had a short stay, dragging a catch into the long haul as Shamsi took his first wicket, leaving England at 65/5 in the 12th left.

How fast was their end?

Pretty fast, thanks to Shamsi. Sam Curran, who hit a six from the chinaman bowler, fell shortly afterwards when he was caught long range while David Willey was bowled after missing a slog sweep. Chris Jordan crossed some boundaries, but Shamsi ended his stay by trapping him up front and also had Adil Rashid catch the last ball of his spell, finishing with his best career figures in the T20I format. Jonny Bairstow, who was just a spectator on the other side, was the last to leave as he was given a top spot by Maharaj when England’s innings came to an abnormal end with 3.2 overs left.

A positive power play for South Africa

Willey, who was brought in in place of Richard Gleeson, made an immediate impact after England chose to bowl. He sent Quinton de Kock away for a duck when the opener got an inside edge on the stumps in an attempt to drive away from the body. England also thought Rilee Rossouw was out in the same over, but ended up losing a review when replays revealed the ball went over the stumps. The first over was a wicket-maiden, but South Africa made rapid progress in power play as Rossouw and Hendricks held out for a solid half-century. There were a few streaky boundaries, especially from Hendricks, while Rossouw made good use of the pull. He also took the toll on Chris Jordan’s full deliveries in the sixth over, hitting four limits (one from an inside rim) as South Africa finished the power play with 53 on the board.

Hendricks, Markram laid a good platform

Moeen against Rossouw was a favorable game for England and they made the most of it when the offspinner made the left-handed batter throw with an excellent pitch that spun around the perimeter. The runs came in singles and deuces after the first six overs, while Rashid and Curran kept things tight. Markram’s pullover midwicket from Jordan on the second ball of the 13th over was South Africa’s first four since the power play, scoring exactly 8 one over when the visiting team reached 100. The half-century score was lifted when Hendricks went over to cover for a four from Rashid in the 14th over while Markram swept the legpinner for a boundary in the same over as the third wicket pair raised the ante. Rashid finished wicketless for a second game in a row, while Hendricks scored his third consecutive 50-plus.

Markram, Miller bolster South Africa in death-overs

Hendricks, who had hit five fours before reaching fifty, increased his frequency of limits, including three in the 15th over Curran. He eventually fell on a slower delivery from Jordan, gained a lead as he tried to slog across the line. But the reprieve was short-lived for England as the borders continued to flow. Miller hit two straight fours on Jordan, going past the point both times, as Markram fired shots—reverse shoveling and moving across to whip to the square leg fence—from Reece Topley, who was also punched for a border through Molenaar. The South Africa T20I captain also skipped the first six of the innings by clearing the long fence in the 19th, which was pitched by Jordan. A four and a pair in the same over helped Markram bring in a 36-ball fifty. Miller fell over to Willey in the final, who also pocketed Stubbs’ wicket after hitting two fours. A whopping 64 runs came in the last five overs, with 11 fours and a six in that span.

Short scores: South Africa 191/5 in 20 overs (Reeza Hendricks 70, Aiden Markram 51; David Willey 3-25) beat England 101 in 16.4 overs (Jonny Bairstow 27; Tabraiz Shamsi 5-24, Keshav Maharaj 2-21) with 90 runs.

© Cricbuzz


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