South Africa stun England to clinch series


It was Shamsi's first T20I fife.

It was Shamsi’s first T20I fife. ©AFP

A clinical performance from South Africa helped them clinch the T20I series against England with a comprehensive 90-point victory at the Rose Bowl in Southampton on Sunday July 31. Reeza Hendricks and Aiden Markram hit half-centuries while skipper David Miller hit a 22 from 9 in the death to propel South Africa to 191/5. England’s innings were torn apart by spinning South Africa, with Tabraiz Shamsi pocketing his first fife, as the hosts lost eight wickets to slower bowlers to be knocked out for 101.

South Africa takes its first steps

Jos Buttler hit a few fours while Jason Roy got bonus points via a knockdown. But the England captain fell again in the power play, this time dismissed for 14, after slicing a hold at the short third man to give Keshav Maharaj a wicket at the fourth. Roy’s half-century wait in limit-step cricket was further extended when he fell on a short ball from Anrich Nortje, edging it past the keeper. Except for the two fours that came off Buttler’s bat, the South African bowlers kept a lid on the score as England could only get 39 on the power play.

Have things improved for England?

No. South Africa further strengthened their grip on the game with quick wickets. England’s struggle for borders continued, with the accumulated pressure resulting in regular strikes. Dawid Malan got off to a calm start and in his attempt to break the shackles, fell on Andile Phehlukwayo putting in a hold from deep. An excellent diving catch from Tristan Stubbs resulted in Moeen Ali’s wicket at Markram. Liam Livingstone also had a short spell, trailing a long-range hold as Shamsi took his first wicket, leaving England at 65/5 on the 12th.

How quickly did they end?

Rather fast, thanks to Shamsi. Sam Curran, who hit a six from the Chinese pitcher, went down shortly after as he was caught long-range while David Willey was knocked down after missing a slog-sweep. Chris Jordan hit some boundaries but Shamsi ended his stay by trapping him in front and also had Adil Rashid caught on the last ball of his spell, finishing with his career best tricks in T20I format. Jonny Bairstow, who was just a spectator at the other end, was the last to go when he got ahead of Maharaj as England’s innings ended abjectly with 3.2 overs remaining.

A positive numerical advantage for South Africa

Willey, brought into the XI in place of Richard Gleeson, made an impact straight away after England opted to go bowling. He fired Quinton de Kock for a duck as the fly-half got an inside edge on the stumps trying to get away from the body. England also believed Rilee Rossouw had come off the front leg in the same over but ended up losing a review as replays revealed the ball went over the stumps. The first was a maiden at the wicket, but South Africa made rapid progress in the power play as Rossouw and Hendricks took a quick half-century position. There were a few ridged boundaries, particularly from Hendricks, while Rossouw used the attraction to good effect. He also bore the brunt of Chris Jordan’s full deliveries in the sixth, hitting four boundaries (one on an inside edge) as South Africa ended the power play with 53 on the board.

Hendricks, Markram laid a good platform

Moeen v Rossouw was a favorable game for England and they made the most of it as the left-handed batsman kicked in the left-handed batter with a great delivery that went over the outside edge. Points only came in singles and twos after the first six overs as Rashid and Curran kept things tight. Markram’s save in the middle of the wicket wide of Jordan on the second ball of the 13th was the first four for South Africa since the power play, with the scoring rate being exactly 8 and over when the visiting team reached 100. The half-century stand was lifted when Hendricks went for cover for a four from Rashid in the 14th while Markram swept the legpinner for a boundary in the same over as the third pair of wickets a up the ante. Rashid finished without a wicket for a second game in a row while Hendricks recorded their third consecutive score over fifty.

Markram and Miller lead South Africa in killings

Hendricks, who had hit five fours before hitting fifty, increased his boundary frequency, including three in the 15th off Curran. He eventually ran into a slower delivery from Jordan, gaining superior advantage while trying to cross the line. But the respite was short-lived for England as the borders continued to flow. Miller hit two successive fours off Jordan, going past the point each time, while Markram manufactured shots – picking up in reverse and moving to play a square-legged fence whip – off Reece Topley, who was also struck for a boundary by Meunier. The South African T20I captain also hit the first six of the innings clearing the long fence in the 19th, which was knocked down by Jordan. A four and a couple in the same over helped Markram toss a fifty from 36. Miller fell in the final to Willey, who also won the wicket for Stubbs after being knocked down for two fours. No less than 64 runs have come in the last five overs, with 11 fours and a six coming in that span.

Brief notes: 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) by 90 points.

© Cricbuzz


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