SA level series with nail-biting finish
South Africa have succeded in levelling the three-match T20I series with England 1-1. They have sealed a three-run win over the hosts in the second T20I at County Ground, Taunton.e
England elected to bowl first at the toss. Both side made changes to their XIs. Opener Jon-Jon Smuts made a flying start for the Proteas with his 35-ball 45 runs hitting 4 fours and 3 sixes. Reeza Hendricks (7) became debutant Tom Curran’s maiden wicket after bottom-edging in the fourth over.
Skipper AB de Villiers came to the party as well. He hammered 46 runs from 20 deliveries including 4 fours and 3 sixes at a strike rate of 230. He fell to David Willey by sending the ball up in the air and it fell into the hands of English captain Eoin Morgan.
Farhaan Behardien played another handy innings following a fifty in the first T20I. He added 32 off 21 with 2 fours and 2 sixes. The Proteas posted 174/8 in 20 overs.
Curran was the pick of the bowlers on his international debut. He scalped three wickets for 33 runs in his four overs.
In reply, England lost Sam Billings for 3 in the second over to Chris Morris. The hosts were one down for 15 runs. Jason Roy and last match’s hero Jonny Bairstow started kicking on the gas. They put on 110-run partnership in 11.4 overs.
Bairstow was dismissed for 47 runs off 37 balls including 8 fours and a six. Roy came back into the runs for England as he brought up his second T20I half-century in 33 balls. He made 67 runs from 45 balls hitting 9 fours and a six. He was given ‘obstructing the field’ in the 16th over.
South Africa were getting them back in the game. Another debutant Liam Livingstone was put under pressure. The English captain Morgan was sent back for 6 runs in the 19th over.
England required 12 runs with five wickets in hand in the last over. Andile Phehlukwayo was given the ball. Four singles were taken off the first four balls. Livingstone was run out for 16 in the fourth ball. The fifth ball went for a four by Liam Dawson. With four runs need off the last ball, Phehlukwayo succeeded in bowling a dot ball to give South Africa a three-wicket victory.
Proteas’ pick of the bowlers was Morris, who took two wickets for 18 runs. This match has helped South Africa level series 1-1 with a series decider on June 25.
Watch highlights of the match
-Ruffin, Correspondent, bdcrictime.com