Bairstow blasts England to comfortable victory

England enjoy nine-wicket win in series opener
Jonny Bairstow was man of the match with an unbeaten 60 // Getty Images

Opener Jonny Bairstow’s blistering half-century helped England to thrash South Africa by nine wickets in the first match of the three-match T20I series at Southampton on Wednesday.

Having been asked to bowl first, England restricted South Africa to 3-142. English fast bowler Mark Wood took the bowling honours with 2-36.

AB de Villiers made 65 from 58 balls and Farhaan Behardien scored a maiden T20 international half-century in an unbroken stand of 110.

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Defending the total, South Africa were poor in the field as Bairstow played shots all around the ground, hitting two sixes and six fours, and the clean-hitting Hales, who was dropped by Behardien, finished just shy of a half-century as England eased to victory.

Andile Phehlukwayo captured the only wicket for the Proteas as he had Jason Roy trapped in front, trying to play a reverse- sweep shot.

The series continues at the Taunton headquarters of southwest county Somerset on Friday before concluding in Cardiff on Sunday.

Scores Summary :

South Africa : 142/3 in 20 overs
(de Villiers 65, Behardien 64; Mark Wood 2/36, Willey 1/34)

England : 143/1 in 14.3 overs. (Bairstow 60, Hales 47; Phehlukwayo 1/11 Smuts 0/20)

Result : England won by 9 wkts

Man of the Match : Jonny Bairstow

– Nazmus Sajid Chowdhury, Contributor,

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